Hazrat Mirza published his book Tiryaq-ul-Qulub (literally translates as “An Antidote for the Hearts“) on October 28, 1902. The book opens with HazratMirza’s famous eulogistic Persian poem in which he describes the characteristics of the per- fect men who are chosen by God for thereformation of mankind, and for the renewal of Islam. The poem in Persian begins with the following couplet:
Of all mankind, he alone is made perfect by God Who, with clear signs, makes God known.
The poem ends with the following couplet:
You ought to dread the grieving sighs of the saints; Especially if that sigh happens to come from Mirza.
In this last couplet, Hazrat Mirza calls these perfect men saints (abdal) and includes himself in this category. In the first couplet, he states that the special sign of the perfect men sent by God i.e., reformers (mujaddids) and other appointees of God is that heavenly signs are manifested at their hands.
Accordingly, Hazrat Mirza states in the book Tiryaq-ul-Qulub: “My profoundest gratitude is to Allah the Most High that He is manifesting at the hands of this humble man, Ghulam Ahmad, hundreds of heavenly signs merely as a result of total obedience to the living and perfect prophet, the Prophet Muhammad.”
Hazrat Mirza then proceeds to narrate first thespecial sign of the Living Prophet, and then mentions his own signs.
The special sign of the Living Prophet
At the very outset of Tiryaq-ul-Qulub (pages 5, 6, and 7), Hazrat Mirza gives an excellent exposition of the distinguishing sign ofthe Living Prophet:
There was a time when Gospel preachers sermonized in bazaars and streets, and with great impertinence and shamelessness fabricated that no prophecy or miracle was ever manifested by our beloved chief and master, the one and only Muhammad Mustafa, may peace and blessings of Allah be on him — the Seal of the prophets, the Best of Messengers and Saints, and the Chief of the Innocents and the Righteous.
But today is a time when in addition to the thousands of miracles mentioned in the Holy Quran and reliabletraditions that were manifested by our Chief and Master and the Intercessor of the Pure, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, God has manifested hundreds of new and fresh signs that no opponent or atheist has the power to compete against.
I have always stated with great mildness and humility to the Christians and to other opponents, just as I do so now, that every religion that is from God and stands firmly on its truthfulness must necessarily keep giving birth to men, who — as the vicegerentof their leader, guide and Messenger — are able to prove that that prophet is eternally alive and not dead in respect of his spiritual blessings.
It is necessary that the prophet who is followed, and who is considered to be the intercessor, must always be eternally alive in respect of his spiritual blessings. It must be self-evident that he resides with his shining face in the heaven
- in honor, exaltation and glory — and that a powerful Divine light proves that he sits on the right side of God, the Ever-Living, the Self- Subsisting, the Almighty. The natural consequence of absolute devotion and complete obedience to him then is that the follower is rewarded with the Holy Spirit and heavenly blessings. By borrowing light from the light of his beloved prophet, the follower dispels the darkness of his period and creates such a firm, perfect, brilliant and resplendent faith in God — among thepeople who are ready to accept
- that all sinful desires and all emotions pertaining to man’s lower desires are incinerated. This then is the proof that that prophet is alive and in the heavens.
How can I ever thank my Holy and Glorious God that He guided me to the love and obedience of His beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Then He granted me the full por- tion of the heavenly blessings, i.e., truerighteousness and true heavenly signs that result from this love and discipleship. Thus God proved that our beloved Holy Prophet has not died but that he sits in the highest heaven on the right side of his Powerful Master, upon a throne of exaltation and glory.O Allah! exalt him and send your bless- ings and peace on him. “Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet. O you who believe, call for blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation.” (33:56).
Now let someone prove to us whether anyone else on the face of this earth has such a life save our Prophet (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Is such a life proven for Moses? absolutely not; for David? absolutely not; for Jesus? absolutelynot; for Raja Ramchandra or Raja Krishna? absolutely not; for the sages of the Vedas about whom it is said that their hearts were enlightened by the Vedas? absolutely not.
It is meaningless to talk about physical life. The real, spiritual and bounteous life is the one that is analogous to the life of Godand which manifests the miracles of enlightenment and faith. Even if we assume a long physical life and accept the assumption that such a life was bestowed on someone, it is nothing to be proud of. Certain ancient buildings in Egypt have been in existence for thousands of years, and the deserted ruins of Babylon are present to this date. In this country, Ajodhia and Bandrabun areancient habitations. Similarly, ancient buildings are to be found in Italy and Greece. Merely because of their physical longevity, can all these things partake in the glory and piety that is granted by a spiritual life to the holy people of God?
Now it has been settled that the proof of this spiritual life is to be found in the blessed person of our Prophet alone. May thousandsof blessings of Allah be with him. Alas, it has never occurred to the Christians to prove the spiritual life of Jesus (peace be upon him). They should not merely exult in a long physical life because that is something that is shared even by bricks and stones.
Worthless is that life that is not ben- eficial, and futile is that permanence that is not a blessing. There are only two lives in this world that are praiseworthy: (1) The life of the Ever-Living, Self-Subsisting God – the Fountainhead of Bounty. (2) The life that is a source of blessing, and which guides others to God. So come and I will show you that such a life is the life of ProphetMuhammad alone, about which the heaven has provided testimony in every age, and to which it testifies even now.
Remember that the person whose life is not a grace for others, is dead and not alive. I swear by that God, invoking whose name and then lying is the height of wickedness, that He has given me this proof regarding the eternal spiritual life, glory and excellence of my venera- ble, worthy of obedience leader, Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him),that by obedience to Prophet Muhammad and by harboring love for him, I have experienced heavenly signs descend upon me and found my heart filling with the light of belief. And I have experienced heavenly signs in such abundance
that through their clear and unmistakable light I have seen my God. The glorious signs of God are alighting on me like rain andnews of the Unseen is being revealed to me. Thousands of supplications have been accepted so far and more than three thousand signs have been mani- fested. Thousands of respectable, pious, and righteous men, and people of all nations are witnesses to mysigns, and you are a witness too.
I swear by the God Who has sent me that even if some hardhearted Christian or Hindu or Arya rejects my previous signs that areas clear as daylight, but seeks a sign, be it any sign that is beyond human ingenuity, to become a Muslim and if he simply announces this in a newspaper without any absurd conditions that reek of ill-intentions, I am hopeful that a year would not have passed before he sees such a sign. This will be so because I derive my spiritual light from the life which was given to my Prophet whom I follow.
There is none who can compete against him. Now if there is anyone from among the Christians or Hindus or Aryas whoseeks the truth, then he should come forward. If he believes that his religion is true, then he should be prepared to respond with asign in its support.
But I prophesy that this will never happen, and they will impose intricate conditions based upon impureintentions, to evade the matter, because their religion is dead. And there is no living giver of grace for them from whom they can getspiritual blessings, and receive a shining life with heavenly signs.
O all those people who inhabit this earth! And all human souls who reside in the East and in the West!
I invite your attention with all the emphasis at my command to the fact that Islam is the only true religion on the face of this earth. The true God is that God about Whom the Quran speaks. The prophet with the eternal spiritual life and the one seated on the throne of glory and holiness is Muhammad Mustafa (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). The proof of his spiritual life and pure glory that I have found is that by following and loving him, I have been rewarded with the Holy Spirit, communion with God, and heavenly signs.
The heavenly signs that were manifested at the hands of Hazrat Mirza
In short, after proving that Prophet Muhammad is the eternally living prophet, and after showing that a distinguishing characteristic of his perfect followers is that they manifest heavenly signs as a consequence of his spiri- tual blessings, and after challenging all the opponents to a contest in this distinguishing characteristic, Hazrat Mirza included seventy-five signs in this book asa sample out of the approximately three thousand signs that were
from time to time manifested at his hands by the Grace of Allah, and that were witnessed by hundreds of noble and honorable gentlemen. These signs are worthy of examination. In the course of narrating these signs, two very important issues were highlightedthat I consider necessary to mention here:
The matter of disbelief and Islam
Are those people who do not accept Hazrat Mirza disbelievers or believers? This is a subject on which there is considerable ongoing discus- sion and debate. An excerpt from the book Tiryaq-ul-Qulub (page 130) is reproduced here which resolves this issue with great clarity.
To try and find wriggle room after this is to forsake honesty. Making statements contrary to the intent of this excerpt would be equivalent to, God forbid, relegating Hazrat Mirza to the same category of people to which he had consigned Maulvi Muhammad Husain Batalvi. The fact is that making such statements is tantamount to grievous slander.
Hazrat Mirza and Maulvi Muhammad Husain Batalvi had signed a compromise agreement in the court of Mr. Dewey to bring their mutual liti- gation to an end. Commenting on the abasement and humiliation that Maulvi Muhammad Husain Batalvi had to suffer as a result of the compromise, Hazrat Mirza wrote:
It is true that I also signed this notice. But by this signing, no blame attaches to me in the eyes of God and the just people, nordoes such signing reflect any disgrace on me, because it has been my creed from the beginning that no one becomes a disbeliever or Antichrist as a result of denying my claims.
Such a person is misguided and has deviated from the path of truth and virtue, but I do not call him faithless.
Yes, I do consider all such people who deny the truths that God has made known to me, as being astray and far from the path of truth and rectitude. There is (also) no doubt that I deem any per- son who hasdeviated from the truth and what is right, to be misguided to a degree, but I do not call any person who recites the kalimah (Muslim article of faith) a disbeliever, unless he makes himself a disbeliever by calling me a disbeliever and accusing me offalsehood.
From the beginning, my opponents have taken the initiative in this matter by calling me a disbeliever and passing a decree against me. I never took any initiative to prepare a decree against them, and they will themselves admit the fact that, if I am a Muslim in the eyes of God, then by making me a disbeliever, the decree of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, against them is that they themselves are disbelievers.1
So I do not call them disbelievers but by calling me a disbeliever they themselvescome within the purview of the Prophet’s decree. Hence, if I pledged before Mr. Dewey that I would not call them disbelievers then, in fact, this is my creed that I do not consider any Muslim a disbeliever.
In a footnote to the preceding excerpt from Tiryaq-ul-Qulub, Hazrat Mirza also observed the following:
This point is worth remembering that calling a person a disbeliever for denying one’s claim behooves only those prophets whobring a revealed law and new orders from God. However, apart from (denial of) prophets with revealed law, the denial of all otherrecipients of rev- elation and saints (muhaddath), regardless of how highly eminent they may be before God and elevated by theinvestiture of Divine discourse, does not make a person a disbeliever.2
The filial relationship with a prophet or appointee of God is spiritual rather than physical
Islam does not allow reverence of the progeny of a prophet or an appointee of God to such an extent that it borders on excessiveexaltation and polytheism. But the state of affairs these days is such that no matter how evil their deeds may be, the progeny of a revered and saintly person are regarded as righteous, and their faults and evil conduct are overlooked, and obedience to them is considered to bethe source of salvation. In order to rectify this mis- conception, Hazrat Mirza explained the concept of aal-e-Muhammad (progeny ofMuhammad) in Tiryaq-ul-Qulub (page 99):
In this context, aal-e-Muhammad (progeny of Muhammad) does not imply any physical relationship, but what is meant are those people, who like the offspring, inherit the spiritual wealth of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.) Infact, this is the meaning in which Prophet Muhammad has used the word aal (progeny) everywhere, and not in the sense of a physical relationship, which is inferior and transitory in nature, and severed into bits at the moment of death by the sword of “noties of relationship among them” (23:101).3
A prophet’s conscience will never allow him to use the word aal (prog- eny) with the same objective as a materialist for getting people to become the followers of an inferior and transitory relationship. It is obvious that a prophet’s sights are set on theheavens and it would mil- itate against the expanse of his dignity and the limit of his courage to repeatedly present relationships in which faith, truthfulness and right- eousness are not inviolably linked. And how can it be that Allah the Most High should say that these temporal relationships terminate with this worldly life and there will be no genealogies in the Hereafter, but His Prophetshould keep emphasizing an ordinary relationship with the offspring of a daughter?
The fact is that the words spoken by the pure and magnificent prophets of God are so full of wisdom and truth that they, as it were, start from the earth and reach up to heaven or, it may be said, that they descend from the heaven to the earth like the ray of thesun, and all those words are like the tree whose root is very strong and reaches to the core of the earth and whose branches areentering into the heaven.
However, when those same words enter into the usage of the common people, their limited understandingand lack of wisdom causes them to abase the meaning of the words. These lowly meanings are shameful to the perception of spiritual people.
Because the worldly-wise intellect of the common people commands no jurisdiction in the heavenly realms andthey have no familiarity with the spiritual light, they effectively terminate — in accordance with their dull understanding — the lofty goals and the exalted symbolism of the Prophet with worldly and transitory relationships only. They do not understand that behind and beyond the transitory and short-lived relationships there are other kinds of relation- ships, and similarly there is another kind of aal (progeny) whose filial relationship is not terminated by death as it does not come within the purview of “no ties ofrelationship among them” (23:101).
Aal (progeny) is not only of the kind that quarrels about an orchard with a name like Fadak4 and a few trees, and becomes soangered as to criticize sometimes Abu Bakr and sometimes Umar (may Allah be pleased with them). But spiritual aal (progeny) is a title most suitable for the beloved and acceptable of God. And the spiritual aal (progeny) inherits from their spiritual maternalgrandfather a spiritual inheritance that cannot be wrested from them. They become the inheritors of gar- dens that nobody canunjustly seize from them.
In short, these inferior ideas crept into certain Islamic sects at a time when their spirituality was dead, and they received no sharein the spir- itual inheritance. Bereft of the spiritual wealth, their intellects became dull, and their thinking became turbid and short-sighted. No honest person can object to the fact that Hazrat Imam Husain and Hazrat Imam Hasan (may Allah be pleased with them) were the chosen ones of God, the possessors of excellence and chastity, and leaders of the rightly guided. They werewithout a doubt the aal (progeny) of Prophet Muhammad in both senses of the word. The objection, however, is to why the superior connotation of aal (progeny) is abandoned while great pride is taken in the inferior meaning.
It is strange that while mentioning Imam Hasan and Imam Husain or for that matter someone else who deserves the title of aal (progeny), people do not cite the higher form of aal (progeny) as a result of which, they became the inheritors of the spiritual wealth of Prophet Muhammad and the chiefs of paradise. Instead, people repeatedly present a transitory relationship with which a spiritual inheritance is not inevitable. If this transitory relationship which is born out of a physical connection was deserving of any claim in the sight of God, then this claim should have been given, in the first instance, to Cain who was the eldest son of Adam (peace be on him) and the son of a prophet. And after him, the claim should have rightly passed on to Noah’s son who received the title of “he is (an embodiment of) unrighteous conduct” (11:46) from God. Thus it is that in the view of religious intellectuals and thinkers, even if Hazrat Imam Husain and Hazrat Imam Hasan had not been the aal (progeny) of Prophet Muhammad by virtue of an inferior relationship, they would have been the inheritors of the wealth of Prophet Muhammad because in the heaven they had proven themselves to be his aal (progeny) through a spiritual relationship. When the transitory body has a relationship, is there then no relationship of the soul? … Now an intelligent person can reflect whether it is a matter of pride to be the eternal and everlasting aal (progeny) of the Prophet or to be a physical aal (progeny) of the Messenger, which is nothing unless accompanied by righteousness, purity and faith. Nobody should think from this that I am in any way violating the dignity of the Holy Prophet’sfamily. Instead, my intent in this statement is to merely state that it is not sufficient for the dignity of Imam Hasan and ImamHusain to be just the physical aal (progeny) of the Messenger because that is nothing without a spiritual connection. Only those relatives of the Messenger of Allah have a real connection with him who are part of his spiritual family. For Messengers, the place of progeny is taken by wisdom and spiritual enlightenment which is born from their pure exis- tence; the people who obtain anew life from that wisdom and enlightenment, and have a new birth as a result of that enlightenment are the ones who are spiritually called aal-e-Muhammad (the progeny of Muhammad.)
The preceding discussion is based on uncommon wisdom and pure principles. In the light of this discussion, to limit and confinethe meaning of prophecies regarding the offspring of Hazrat Mirza to the physical progeny, and then to insist on it, is an insult to HazratMirza’s knowledge, wisdom and
spirituality. It is tantamount to invalidating the great principles and wisdom that Hazrat Mirza has written with his pen here. Is itthen that the meaning of aal (progeny) should be taken to be spiritual progeny in the context of Prophet Muhammad, but physical progeny in the context of Hazrat Mirza? “This indeed is an unjust division” (53:22). How can a thing which is not right for themaster be right for the slave? So reflect O men of understanding. The truth is as Hazrat Mirza has stated. The aal (progeny) of God’s Messengers, appointees and saints are only those who deserve to be called their aal (prog- eny) spiritually. That is, the ones who are the inheritors of their knowledge and spirituality, and who follow them faithfully, as the saying of ProphetAbraham (peace be upon him) in the Holy Quran points out: “So whoever fol- lows me, he is surely of me” (14:36.) Spiritual relationship is of the essence because it is everlasting; without a spiritual connection, physical relationship is nothing.
- Ibn Umar related that the Holy Prophet said: “If a Muslim calls another kafir, then if he is a kafir let it be so; otherwise, he (the caller) is himself a kafir.’’ (Abu Dawud, Book of Sunna, edition published by Quran Mahal, Karachi, vol. iii, p. 484)
- Hazrat Mirza has presented the same belief in his book Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, published in the year 1907. On page 120, he wrote: Consider then the untruth that they allege that I have pronounced two hundred mil- lion Muslims, who recite the kalimah to be unbelievers. The fact is that I have never taken the initiative in calling anybody an unbeliever. It is their scholars who wrote decrees declaring us as unbelievers and clamored throughout Punjab and India that these people are unbelievers. As a result of these decrees, ignorant people have developed such hatred towards us that they now consider it a sin to even talk to us politely. Is there any cleric, hereditary religious leader, or some opponent who can provethat we were the first to brand them as unbelievers? If we published any paper, announcement or magazine prior to their decrees of disbelief in which we branded our opposing Muslims as unbelievers, then they should produce it. Otherwise, they should realize the grave dishonesty in passing decrees of disbelief themselves and then accusing us of calling Muslims as unbelievers. Any intelligent person can see that such deceit, egregious misrepresentation and dishonesty is very hurtful. They have declared us as unbelievers through their decrees, but simultaneously hold the belief that acharge of disbelief reverts back on a person who calls a Muslim an unbe- liever. Then was it not our right in such a situation to call them, in accordance with their own belief, as unbelievers? It is evident from the preceding statement that Hazrat Mirza loathed the practice of calling Muslims as unbelievers and considered anyone attributing this practice to him as guilty of “deceit, egregious misrepresentation and dishonesty.” Hazrat Mirza referred only to those people as unbelievers who called Muslims unbelievers, and in so doing, he was only fol- lowing the saying of Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad had stated that he who calls anotherMuslim as an unbeliever becomes an unbeliever himself, and this was meant to be a punishment from the court of the Prophet for those who label Muslims as unbelievers. The purpose of this punishment was that such a person should be excluded from the Muslim community and boycotted until the time that he ceases the lamentable action. Hazrat Mirza resorted to this censure merelybecause he sought to remove the affliction prevalent among Muslim scholars of pronouncing Muslims as unbelievers. This affliction was creating muchdissension and fragmentation in the unity and organization of the Muslim community. If today the clerics branding Muslims as unbelievers were brought within the ambit of this decree and boycotted, this affliction of branding Muslims as unbelievers would disappear instantly and unity and harmony wouldreturn to the Muslim world.
- “So when the trumpet is blown, there will be no ties of relationship among them that day, nor will they ask of one another.” (23:101).
- Fadak is an orchard that was Divinely vested to the Holy Prophet. On his death, the orchard was claimed as inheritance by his daughter Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her), but the then Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakr held that the Prophet’s inheritance is for the nation as a whole.