Some background regarding Maulvi Sanaullah
Since the time Maulvi Sanaullah had impinged upon the consciousness of the public, his distinguishing quality had been the caustic nature of his speeches that were laced with ridicule, scorn, derision and vulgar poetry. This quality was especially accentuated when he delivered speeches debasing Hazrat Mirza. On such occasions, his tongue became like a sharp razor, and one was acutely reminded of these verses recited at the annual meeting of Anjuman Himayat-e-Islam by Mirza Arshad Gorgani in which he hadobserved regarding Maulvi Sanaullah:
His tongue is sharper than a razor;
I fear lest he sever the Islamic faith from its root!
These verses were so apposite that the entire audience present at the meeting had erupted in approval and support of the truism so appropriately expressed. Through the years Maulvi Sanaullah did not change at all and the above verses continued to characterize him till the very end.
Every righteous person has been opposed
It is the common experience of every truthful and righteous person that when their opponents are defeated on matters of principle, the opponents resort to inferior and lowly tactics such as the use of abusive language, deri- sion, and false accusations.
Such activities really are an affirmation of the success of the righteous people. The righteousness of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is evident like the glowing sun. But instead of paying attention to the shining proofs that manifested themselves in his support, Prophet Muhammad’s opponents focused all their energies on emphasizing frivolous allegations, such as the assertion that Islam was spread by the sword, or that he had several wives. These opponents paid no attention to matters of principle. Exactly the same attitude was displayed by the people who considered it obligatory to oppose Hazrat Mirza.
It is unfortunate that Hazrat Mirza’s opponents did not realize that the transpiring events bore clear testimony to the fact thatIslam was in a state of extreme helplessness and feebleness.
The adherence of the Muslim populace to certain wrong doctrines that were clearly opposed to the teachings of the Quran and the reliable hadith was unwittingly aiding the propagation of Christianity. The greatest service to Islam at this time was to cleanse the Muslims of such mistaken notions, but Hazrat Mirza’s opponents were soblinded by their opposition that they opposed whatever Hazrat Mirza said regardless of its merits. This attitude was responsible forpropelling the entire Muslim community into the darkness of professing wrong beliefs.
All eminent scholars of Islam had accepted the validity of the hadith regarding the coming of a reformer (mujaddid) at the beginning of each century.
However, since nobody had claimed to be a reformer in the fourteenth century Hijrah with the exception of Hazrat Mirza, his opponents unjustly declared the hadith regarding the coming of reformers as unauthentic; in so doing, they branded righteous and holy men like Hazrat Mujaddid Alf-e- Sani and Hazrat Shah Waliullah Muhadith Dehlavi as, God forbid, fraudulent liars because they too had relied on this hadith for their claims. The opponents totally ignored the hundreds of signs manifested in supportof Hazrat Mirza’s righteousness, and concentrated all their energies in for- aging for trivial issues that they could use against him.
They accused Hazrat Mirza of being a liar because he claimed to be a reformer. However, before crying themselves hoarse on this issue, these opponents would have done well to have anointed someone else as a reformer. At least then they would not have had to bear the onus of giving the lie to Prophet Muhammad’s hadith about the coming of reformers. But they did not care; it mattered little to them whether Islam would be helped or hurt as long as they could somehow falsify Hazrat Mirza. However, the will of God cannot be stopped by mere mortals.
What were the real issues needing resolution
The real need of the hour was to develop a consensus among the Muslim community on certain issues that were being exploitedby the Christian missionaries. Hazrat Mirza’s opponents would have done well to have focused on resolving these issues. The first of these issues can be framed as follows:
Is it proven from the Holy Quran or reliable hadith that Jesus (peace be upon him) bodily ascended to the heavens, and has remained there for two thousand years without aging, without any food and water, and with- out performing the normal bodilyfunctions associated with physical life?
If the above statement is correct, then what is the answer to the following criticism of the Christians:
The Quran states regarding all prophets that: “Nor did We give them bodies not eating food, nor did they abide” (21:8). Hence someone who bodily ascended to the heavens and remained alive, without eating and drinking, must be unique and superior to allother prophets… Such a prophet cannot be included among the prophets who needed food and water to stay alive.
The existence of such an objection itself should have been sufficient to con- vince an honorable Muslim that the issue as framed could not possibly be an Islamic doctrine because no Islamic doctrine has ever been, nor will ever be, supportive of falsehood. How was it possible for a doctrine of Islam to sup- port the Christian doctrine of crucifixion when the very reason for the coming of Islaminto the world was to break the Cross?
The second issue that needed to be resolved can be framed as follows:
The Quran and hadith bear testimony to the facts that prophethood has come to an end and that Jesus has died. The most authentic Book of Hadith, the Sahih Bukhari, provides different physical descriptions for Jesus, the Israelite prophet, and the Son of Mary who was to come in later times.
The Israelite Jesus has been described as ruddy complex- ioned and with curly hair in two ahadithin the Sahih Bukhari,1 while the Son of Mary who would remove the mischief of the Antichrist (Dajjal) has been described ashaving a wheaten complexion and straight hair in two other ahadith of the Sahih Bukhari.2
In addition, the chapter Al- Jumuah(The Congregation) of the Holy Quran clearly states that Prophet Muhammad is the spiritual teacher of the Muslim communityfor all generations to come — the early ones, as well as the later ones. Given these facts, the issue is: How is it possible that Jesusson of Mary, a prophet of Allah, can come to teach and purify the Muslim community in the future and thus bring to an end the tenure of Prophet Muhammad as the teacher and purifier of the Islamic nation? When another prophet comes who has received knowledge from God directly, then it cannot be said that the tenure of Prophet Muhammad as a teacher and purifier still continues.
If one accepts these things that are patentlyagainst the teach- ings of the Quran, then how can one answer the Christian critics when they say: “If Muhammad is the Prophet for the last era and the Seal of the prophets, then why was it not mandated that he will be raised from the grave to dispel the greatmischief of the last era?”
The third issue that needed to be settled can be framed as follows:
If Hazrat Mirza was not the Reformer (mujaddid) of the fourteenth century Hijrah, then was there anyone else in the world who made the claim to be the Reformer of this era? If not, then was Prophet Muhammad’s hadith fulfilled for thirteen hundred years, only to falter now in the fourteenth century?
In short, the opponents of Hazrat Mirza did not have the courage to step forward and address the issues that needed to be resolved. They focused instead on frivolous and extraneous matters to blur the truth and provide fodder to the masses to carry on a program of ridicule and scorn based on sheer ignorance. This strategy has been used by the opponents of righteous men since timeimmemorial, and was precisely the strategy that Maulvi Sanaullah adopted to oppose Hazrat Mirza.
Conditions for holding a mubahalah
In the year 1891, when Hazrat Mirza claimed to be the Promised Messiah, his opponents passed a decree stating that he was akafir (unbeliev- er). Some opponents invited him to engage in a mubahalah (a prayer duel). In response, Hazrat Mirza stated the following in his book Izala Auham (pages 637, 638):
Let it be clear to all present that Mian Abdul Haq had also requested a mubahalah. But so far I have been unable to understand how a mubahalah can be permissible for a disputed issue the result of which does not make any party a disbeliever or a tyrant. Itis evident from the Holy Quran that the two parties in the mubahalah must be convinced that their opponent is a liar i.e., is intentionally digressing from the truth, and not simply committing an unwitting error.
It is only then that the two parties can say:May the curse of Allah be on the liar… So lying is one thing, while unwitting error is quite another — Allah says to curse the liars. He does not say to “curse those who commit an error unwittingly.”
Similarly, Hazrat Mirza made the following statement in an announce- ment dated April 12, 1891:
The traditional mode of a mubahalah is that the person requesting the mubahalah should hold his belief with such certainty that he considers his opponent to be definitely a liar and a falsifier… Each of the two parties in a mubahalah must consider the other party to be a liar, and the goodwill that two believers are required to have for one another has thus ceased to exist between them.
Announcement of the mubahalah
Hazrat Mirza had clarified through announcements that he was obser- vant of all Islamic beliefs, that he believed in the finality ofprophethood and that he considered any claimant of prophethood after Prophet Muhammad as a liar and unbeliever. Despite theseclarifications, his opponents continued to brand Hazrat Mirza as an unbeliever.
This compelled him to make the following announcement in his work Ainah Kamalat Islam, on December 10, 1892. The book itself was published in February of 1893. He statedthus:
I have been granted permission by God that if the leaders who brand me as an unbeliever do not desist from doing so despitelistening to my beliefs and the supporting arguments, then I should engage them in a mubahalah.
In response to this challenge, nobody stepped forward to have a mubahalah with Hazrat Mirza, with the exception of Maulvi Abdul HaqGhaznavi. In the mubahalah with Maulvi Ghaznavi, Hazrat Mirza did not cast any impreca- tion upon his opponent. This is evident from the following excerpt from Hazrat Mirza’s work Haqiqat-ul-Wahy (page 240):
Since I was dearly fond of Maulvi Abdullah Sahib deceased…my heart did not incline to casting a malediction on (his son) Maulvi Ghaznavi. On the contrary, in my eyes, he was a man to be pitied…In any case, he said whatever he wanted to say in the mubahalah, but the resort of my prayer was my own soul, and my supplication before God was only that if I am a liar, then may Allah destroy me in the manner in which liars are destroyed.
The flight of Maulvi Sanaullah and that of other opposing clerics
In the book Anjam Atham, Hazrat Mirza extended a general invitation to all Maulvis and Pirs who called him a disbeliever to hold a mubahalah with him. In particular, a number of Maulvis and Pirs were invited by name and Maulvi Sanaullah’s name was included in this list of invitees (Anjam Atham, pages 64, 70). This was the first time Hazrat Mirza invited Maulvi Sanaullah by name fora mubahalah. Hazrat Mirza had stipulated that at least ten Maulvis and Pirs should come forth for the mubahalah:
However, I do impose one requirement for the mubahalah, namely that at least ten of the below-mentioned individuals present themselves for the contest. Their number must not be fewer than ten although my desire and wish is that the more the better because the encompassment of a large group in Divine wrath will be a clear sign from God and will leave no doubt in anybody’s mind.
Hazrat Mirza had then stated in Anjam Atham (page 67):
I impose a condition that my prayer should be considered efficacious only if a calamity from the (aforementioned) calamities afflictsall those who oppose me in the mubahalah within a period of one year. Even if one of them escapes an affliction, though their numbermay be one thousand or two thousand, I will consider myself a liar.
It is apparent that this method was decisive.
It was not an unreasonable demand to require that at least ten of the two hundred or so individuals who had affixed their signature to the decree of excommunication should step for- ward for the mubahalah. But the Maulvis were so overawed by the truth that not even a single one of them dared to step forth, and Maulvi Sanaullah was of course one of those Maulvis that lacked the courage to engage in a mubahalah with Hazrat Mirza.
The decampment of Maulvi Sanaullah on a second occasion
Following the previous statement, Hazrat Mirza then addressed Maulvi Sanaullah exclusively in the following words, in his book Ijaz-e- Ahmadi, which was published in the year 1902:
I have heard, and in fact I have seen Maulvi Sanaullah’s own signed statement, wherein he states that he is wholeheartedly eagerfor a deci- sion to be rendered in the following fashion. The parties, i.e., he and I, should supplicate that whichever one of us is a liar should die in the lifetime of the one who is truthful.
He has also expressed the wish to prepare a book that is similar to Ijaz-e-Ahmadi in terms of its eloquence and erudition, and would be comprised of the same objectives. If Maulvi Sanaullah has indeed expressed these wishes sincerely, and not merely as guile, then there could be nothing better than this. In this time of strife among the Muslim community, Maulvi Sanaullah would render a big favor if he were to step forth in the (religious) arena and render a decision between truth and falsehood by using these two means. He has come forward with a good suggestion but it will amount tosomething only if he stands by it.
If a fabricator departs from the world and those that remain behind are guided thereby, then the person who had entered the contest would reap the reward of a prophet.
However, in the mubahalah of death, I cannot submit any challenge of my own accord, because my covenant with the Government prohibits me from the submission of such a chal- lenge. However, Maulvi Sanaullah and my other adversaries are not bound by any such prohibition, and can force me to respond by giving me such a challenge.
It matters not whether the challenger is Maulvi Sanaullah or some other Maulvi who is well-known, respected in hisorganization, and about whom fifty honorable men certify as such with their signatures on his announcement. Since MaulviSanaullah already appears prepared for such a challenge, based upon reading his written statements, I have no objection if he givesme such a challenge. Rather, he has my full permission to do so.
So if Maulvi Sanaullah is ready for such a challenge, then a mere writ- ten letter will not suffice.
Instead, a written announcement with the following intent must be published. The announcement should state that: “I consider this man (and here my name, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, should be clearly written) as a confirmed liar, Dajjal (Antichrist), and a disbeliever. I am convinced that hisclaim to be the Promised Messiah, and to receive revelation and have communion with God is totally false. O Allah! I supplicate to you that if this belief of mine is not correct, and if this person is in fact the Promised Messiah, and if Jesus (may peace be upon him) is indeed dead, then grant me death before the death of this person.
But if I am correct in my faith, and if this person is indeed Dajjal, faithless, a disbeliever, and an apostate, and if Jesus is alive in the heavens and will come at an unknown time, then kill this person so that mischief and dissension are removed. And Islam does not come to harm at the hands of a Dajjal, a person who leads others astray, and who deludes people. Amen. Once again Amen.” (Ijaz-e-Ahmadi, pages 12, 15)
The most essential condition of the mubahalah
Hazrat Mirza then furnished the sum and substance of this subject mat- ter in the following words (Ijaz-e-Ahmadi, page 37):
If he is ready for this challenge that the liar shall die prior to the death of the truthful one, then he shall assuredly die first.
These words should be carefully noted, because they will help us later to understand the circumstances under which it isnecessary for a liar to die before the truthful person. Hazrat Mirza’s intention regarding the death of the liar during the lifetime of the truthful person was always subject to these conditions.
Some people have mistakenly understood that all liars would die in the lifetime of the truthful person eitherthrough his prayer or without it. This is totally erroneous! The truth of the matter is that if a liar engages in a mubahalah with a righteous person and prays for the death of the liar, it is only then that the liar shall assuredly die within the life of the righteous person.
But Maulvi Sanaullah once more turned a deaf ear to the matter and, despite all his brazen bluster, he did not step forward to engage in a mubahalah. Evidently, he saw his personal escape in remaining silent, and kept his silence for several years afterwards.
Details of the third time Maulvi Sanaullah evades a mubahalah
During December of 1905, Hazrat Mirza was repeatedly informed via Divine revelations that the decreed time of his demise wasnear at hand. So in light of these revelations, he wrote his will in the form of a publication titled Al-Wasiyyat.
Following its publication, he became engrossed in the composition and compilation of certain other works. In February of 1907, Hazrat Mirza wrote a book titled “The Aryas Of Qadian And Us,” in which he pre- sented his response to the foul language of the Aryas (members of the Arya Samaj sect of Hinduism). In connection with this book, the Qadian-based newspaper, Al-Hakam, wrote the following in its issue of March 17,1907:
A copy of this work (The Aryas Of Qadian And Us) was sent to Maulvi Sanaullah as well. The Aryas of Qadian witnessed the Divine signs at the hands of Hazrat Mirza and yet these Aryas falsified those Divine signs, and are falsifying them still. In this book, they have been asked to enter a mubahalah… And if Sanaullah has not seen a miraculous sign, he too can test it by taking an oath so that it may become known as to who has the support of God, and whose oath is proven true by God.
The last part of this statement which directly addresses Maulvi Sanaullah shows clearly that it contains a demand for Maulvi Sanaullah to take an oath opposite Hazrat Mirza, or in other words to hold a mubahalah.
It is obvious from the words “and whose oathis proven true by God” that two individuals are to take the oath, and not just one. The result of taking this oath would be that the oath of one of these individuals would turn out to be true, thereby testifying to the righteousness of that individual. The other individual’s oath would turn out to be false, thereby affirming that person’s falsehood. At any rate, the demand made here was for an adversarial prayer.In response, Maulvi Sanaullah wrote the following in the March 29, 1907 issue of his newspaper Ahl-e-Hadith:
Yes, I am responsible for my own soul. Hence, I am prepared to swear to the false assertions of your Krishna (reference is to Hazrat Mirza). Come and take an oath from me, at whichever location you wish. But you must first publish what will be the result of this oath.
I shall state on oath that I do not consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian to be an appointee of God. Instead,he is a big liar, hypocrite and a fraud, and none of his prophecies are the result of Divine revelation. Mirzaio! (this is a derogatory term for Ahmadis) If you are truthful, then come out, and bring your guru with you. The same plain of the Eid congre- gation in Amritsar is ready where once before you entered into a mubahalah with Sufi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi and tasted heavenly disgrace.
If not in Amritsar, then come to Batala. The proceedings shall take place before everybody’s eyes. But first get Krishna Ji to provide the details and the interpretation of the results. And bring before me he who has invited me to a mubahalah in Anjam Atham, because unless a judgment is reached with your so-called messenger, it will not suffice for the community.
It is evident from these words of Maulvi Sanaullah that he fully under- stood the nature of the oath he was being asked to take i.e., an adversarial oath known as mubahalah. It is for this reason, that he responded by issuing a clarion call to Hazrat Mirza’s disciples to bring Hazrat Mirza out to face him. The following assertions from Maulvi Sanaullah’s statement show clear- ly that he was the one who had called Hazrat Mirza for an oath taking contest:
- The first one is Maulvi Sanaullah’s assertion: “Mirzaio! If you are truthful, then come out, and bring your guru with you.” If thestatement was not meant to call for an oath taking contest in the form of a muba- halah, what was the need to repeatedly ask in it that Hazrat Mirza be brought to Amritsar or Batala?
- Second, and clearer still, are Maulvi Sanaullah’s words: “The same plain of the Eid congregation in Amritsar is ready where once before you entered into a mubahalah with Sufi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi and tast- ed heavenly disgrace.” Do these words not clearly show that Maulvi Sanaullah is inviting Hazrat Mirza once more to the venue of the mubahalah where previously the mubahalahhad taken place with Abdul Haq Ghaznavi?
- Third, and even more obvious, is the following assertion: “And bring before me he who has invited me to a mubahalah in AnjamAtham.”
Is there a need for another statement to show that it was Maulvi Sanaullah who was challenging Hazrat Mirza to a mubahalah? These matters are noteworthy because, only fifteen days later when this challenge was accepted by Hazrat Mirza, Maulvi Sanaullah started asserting ruefully that he had never expressed any intent to enter into a mubahalah.
The fact is that Maulvi Sanaullah had clearly written that he was calling for a mubahalah with the man who had challenged him to a mubahalah in Anjam Atham!
The response to Maulvi Sanaullah’s statement was published in the April 4, 1907 issue of the newspaper Badar. Although theresponse was pub- lished under the name of the editor of the newspaper, it was Hazrat Mirza who had ordered the response. The title ofthe response was:
Maulvi Sanaullah’s Challenge For A Mubahalah Is Accepted
(Issued under the Orders of the Promised Messiah)
Under this title, the editor first reproduced Maulvi Sanaullah’s state- ment, and then followed it up with the following response:
The only significant aspect of Maulvi Sanaullah’s statement is that he has such a strong faith in, and believes so firmly that the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza, is a liar that he is ready to swear by it in the name of God, the Most High. (Consequently) he has invited Hazrat Mirza for a mubahalah, and has asked him to specify the final outcome of this mubahalah; he has proposed agathering of the two parties for this purpose in either Batala or Amritsar.
In reply to this subject, I give glad tidings to Maulvi Sanaullah that Hazrat Mirza has accepted this chal- lenge. He (Maulvi Sanaullah) may state on oath that this person (Hazrat Mirza)has fabricated his claims, and he is free to say: “If I am a liar in this matter, then may the curse of Allah be on the liars.” In addition to this, he (Maulvi Sanaullah) has the mandate to ask for other retributions for himself like his death etc. in case he is borneout as the liar…
Nevertheless, Hazrat Mirza has taken mercy on him (Maulvi Sanaullah) and stated that the mubahalah should take place after afew days when his (Hazrat Mirza’s) book Haqiqat-ul-Wahy has been print- ed and published…
Along with this book, I shall publish an announcement from my side in which I shall show that I have accepted the challenge ofMaulvi Sanaullah for a mubahalah. And first I will take the oath that all the rev- elations I have entered in this book are from God. And if these are my fabrications then may the curse of Allah be on the liars.
Similarly, Maulvi Sanaullah, after reading this book, shall publish an announce- ment in which he will state under oath “I have read this book carefully from the beginning to the end; the revelations given in it are not from God, and are the fabrications of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. And if I am a liar in stating this, then may the curse of Allah be on the liars.” And along with this, he may ask for other retributions for himselfin case he is borne out to be a liar. After the publication of these announcements, Allah, the Most High, shall Himself renderjudgment and shall differen- tiate the truthful one from the liar. Yes, I do add only this much that we shall pray to God that the nature of the retribution that afflicts the liar should be of such a nature that there is no human hand in it…
It would truly be a sort of arrogance and impertinence if I demand explanations over and above what is given in the Quranic verse about mubahalah. But I believe that if Maulvi Sanaullah does not use some clever ruse to evade this mubahalah, then Allah shall assuredly mani- fest some sign in respect of the referenced Maulvi that shall positively differentiate the truthful one from the liar… It is now hoped that Maulvi Sanaullah shall not feel the need to seek ways to evade the mubahalah that he himself suggested…
But if you (Maulvi Sanaullah) would only be satisfied with a face to face, verbal mubahalah, then you can come to Qadian and bring with you ten people. I will pay your travel expenses and give you fifty rupees after the mubahalah.
However, it will be mandatory under all conditions that before the mubahalah, the parties will agree in writing on the conditions of the mubahalah and the wordings to be used in the mubahalah, and this statement will be signed by both parties and the witnesses…
Maulvi Sanaullah’s reply
Maulvi Sanaullah’s reply was published in the April 19, 1907 issue of the newspaper Ahl-e-Hadith. In actuality, the April 19, 1907 issue of Ahl-e- Hadith was published simultaneously with the April 12, 1907 issue of Ahl-e-Hadith as is evident from a footnote on its title page. In his reply, Maulvi Sanaullah wrote that it was never his intention to engage in a muba- halah. He also added:
I have solely expressed my wish to take an oath. But you portray this as a mubahalah, even though a mubahalah is that whereinthe involved parties take adversarial oaths.
On the other hand, Maulvi Sanaullah also wrote:
I am not scared of having a mubahalah with you. God forbid. When I consider you, for the sake of Allah, a mischievous person and an Antichrist, not from now but from many years, then why should I be scared of a mubahalah with you?
However Maulvi Sanaullah kept on reiterating that he had agreed to take an oath, but not to a mubahalah. Just consider theimpudence of the fol- lowing statement of Maulvi Sanaullah directed at Hazrat Mirza:
Do not resort to distortion. I had said that I would take an oath, not that I would engage in a mubahalah. I did not extend an invitation to you, but only accepted your invitation. Nor did I write that I would say, “May the curse of Allah be on the liars.” Taking an oath is one thing, and engaging in a mubahalah is another.
Maulvi Sanaullah’s response was mean and abusive. It not only digressed from seriousness but actually resorted to filthy and vulgar language.
Thus he wrote in one place: “Do not resort to your habitual lies.” In another place, he wrote: “You have furnished proof of yourbeing an Antichrist.” In another place he asserted: “Neither do I want you to take any oath, nor do I trust your oath even if you were to putyour …on a hot plate.” In yet another place, he contend- ed: “The Quran has forbidden us from trusting your oaths.” In yet another place he declared: “Is any doubt left that you are the Dajjal, liar, and rejected out- cast?” In another place: “You are a confirmed liar and Dajjal.”
Then he wrote: “O Disciples of Mirza! Why do you not question your insane leader about what he says?” He also asserted: “The majority ofyour Organization consists of peo- ple who are not sheep, but wolves — they are ill-mannered, selfish, mean, vexatious, uncivil, crooked,conceited, and malicious.”
In summary, Maulvi Sanaullah’s entire response was replete with lowly and hurtful statements. On the one hand, this responseindicated Maulvi Sanaullah’s refusal of the mubahalah, and on the other hand, it contained the expression of his willingness to participate in a mubahalah. One reads this response and wonders if this is the same Maulvi Sanaullah who had, only fifteen daysearlier, issued a challenge in the following words:
And bring before me he who has invited me to a mubahalah in Anjam Atham, because unless a judgment is reached with your so-called messenger, it will not suffice for the community.
Now the mere mention of the word mubahalah was producing fearful tremors in Maulvi Sanaullah, and he was desperatelyseeking a way to evade it.
For the sake of argument, one may concede that in the announcement of March 29, 1907, Maulvi Sanaullah had made the following statement: “The same plain of the Eid congregation in Amritsar is ready where once before you entered into a mubahalah with Sufi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi and tasted heavenly disgrace,” merely for bragging and intimidation, and that his intention was merely to take the oath unilaterally.
However, one fails to understand why a person, who on the one hand uses such vulgar language, like I cannot trust your oath “even if you put your… on a hot plate,” was so afraid of an adversarial oath.
All of Maulvi Sanaullah’s farce and mockery aside, it is difficult to unravel the enigma of why he was so fearful of taking aface to face, adversarial oath against Hazrat Mirza, the person whom he considered “a reprobate” and “a liar.”
On the one hand,Maulvi Sanaullah kept on reiterat- ing that he was ready for a mubahalah, and on the other hand he kept on evading and rejecting a mubahalah in practice. This shows that, in his heart, Maulvi Sanaullah was fearful of engaging in a mubahalah with Hazrat Mirza.Otherwise, when Maulvi Sanaullah was prepared to swear that Hazrat Mirza was “an Antichrist, a liar and a reprobate,” then why was heso afraid of an adversarial oath by Hazrat Mirza?
With his attitude, he should not have cared a whit for Hazrat Mirza’s oath, and in fact should have said: “You can swear not one but a thousand times; I am ready to take an oath in any case.” Bear in mind that MaulviSanaullah considered a mubahalah with Hazrat Mirza to be equivalent to drinking from the cup of death. He had seen the fate of many falsifiers and rejecters who had entered into a mubahalah with Hazrat Mirza and subsequently perished.
This was precisely the reason why Maulvi Sanaullah had always evaded participating in a mubahalah with Hazrat Mirza and this was what he did on thisoccasion as well. Although Maulvi Sanaullah’s jesting and farcical poetry may deceive the public at large, anybody who examinesthis matter with the slightest bit of profundity shall immediately discern that it was a very telling remark on Maulvi Sanaullah’s partwhen he asserted that while he was prepared to take an oath, he had never pledged to take a “face to face, adversarial oath” withHazrat Mirza — this remark plainly divulges Maulvi Sanaullah’s inner dread.
Let us assume for the sake of argument that MaulviSanaullah’s intent in his written statement of March 29, 1907 was only to take a unilateral oath, but if his opponent, whom he calleda liar, had interpreted it to mean an adversarial oath, why was there such reluctance on his part to engage in a mubahalah?
Permission from Allah for participating in Mubahalah
In the spirit of the Holy Quran and hadith, Hazrat Mirza considered it essential that, prior to engaging in a mubahalah, he shouldpresent his beliefs in a clear, logical and understandable manner to his adversary. The aim here was to settle the matter conclusively, so that in the eyes of Allah there was no excuse left for the adversary to plead lack of knowledge or information which could become a hindrance in the visitation of the punishment. Hence, prior to engaging in a mubahalah with Maulvi Sanaullah, Hazrat Mirza deemed itnecessary to send Maulvi Sanaullah a copy of his latest work, titled Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, as a final argument in settling their contention.
At a very minimum, Hazrat Mirza desired to verbally explain his claims to Maulvi Sanaullah. However, this was before the statement of MaulviSanaullah pub- lished in the issue of the newspaper Ahl-e-Hadith dated April 19, 1907, but which actually became available with the issue of April 12, 1907. This state- ment was replete with filth, excerpts of which have been presented earlier. He refused to take a faceto face, adversarial oath, saying that he did not have any confidence in Hazrat Mirza’s oath. Day and night, Maulvi Sanaullah was busy abusing Hazrat Mirza and waging a campaign of false and filthy prop- aganda against him.
Given these circumstances, Hazrat Mirza decided that a final determination should be made with Maulvi Sanaullah. If Maulvi Sanaullah did not trust Hazrat Mirza’s oath, then at least a determination could be made via adversarial prayers, and in this way Maulvi Sanaullah would be forced out into the field ofmubahalah.
As mentioned earlier, Hazrat Mirza was always mindful of presenting his beliefs before his adversary as a final argument prior to engaging in a mubahalah. Hazrat Mirza wanted to use his book Haqiqat-ul-Wahy as the final argument, but the book was not published yet. And Maulvi Sanaullah was not prepared to listen to Hazrat Mirza’s arguments supporting his claims at any assembly or venue. Hehad made this quite clear in the following state- ment published in the same newspaper: “However, do tell us whether those argumentswould be like the ones you have published throughout the country till now whose summary is nothing more than the following verses:
When your pen became inspired by gems of eloquence; Your composition became relieved of being meaningful.
Or are there any arguments that you have reserved especially for me?” There was much more along the same lines.
Under these circumstances, Hazrat Mirza thought it prudent to turn to Allah for direction in the matter, and to ask Him whether in His eyes Maulvi Sanaullah had been furnished the final and conclusive arguments. If indeed the final arguments had been renderedthen it was futile to wait upon the pub- lication of Haqiqat-ul-Wahy or to insist that Maulvi Sanaullah listen to the arguments supporting Hazrat Mirza’s claims. On April 13, 1907, the issue of the newspaper Ahl-e-Hadith reached Hazrat Mirza, and the same night hedirected his attention and supplicated to Allah in the matter of the mubaha- lah. On the following day, April 14, 1907, he received revelation of the Quranic verse: “I answer the prayer of the suppliant” (2:186).
In other words, if a supplication was made in a mubahalah, it would be accepted, and this convinced Hazrat Mirza that in the eyes of Allah the final arguments had been rendered to Maulvi Sanaullah. This was an unmistakable permission to engage in a mubahalah because Hazrat Mirza had supplicated keeping this very matter in mind. Having obtained this permission, Hazrat Mirza abandoned the idea of waiting till after the publication of Haqiqat-ul- Wahy, and unhesitatingly published his part of the mubahalah prayer on April 15, 1907.
Publication of the mubahalah Prayer
Since it was Maulvi Sanaullah’s custom to evade a mubahalah through his artifice and wiliness, Hazrat Mirza published a public proclamation this time with the title, “The Final Determination With Maulvi Sanaullah.” Hazrat Mirza stated his part of the mubahalahprayer in this proclamation, and invited Maulvi Sanaullah to publish this prayer in his newspaper along- side his prayer in response. Allah would then render His decision. The text of Hazrat Mirza’s announcement was as follows:
For Maulvi Sanaullah Sahib, “Peace to him who follows the guidance” (20:47).
- The exercise of falsifying and slandering me has been going on for a long time through your newspaper Ahl-e-Hadith. You refer tome in this newspaper as reprobate, liar, Antichrist and a troublemaker. You publi- cize to the world that this person is a slanderer,liar and Antichrist, and that his claim of being the Promised Messiah is a sheer deception. I have suffered much at your hands, buthave been patient. But I see that I have been appointed for the dissemination of the truth, and by your libelous accusations, you prevent the public from coming to me. You abuse and slander me and call me by such words that there can be no harsher words.If I am indeed such a liar and slanderer as you frequently call me in every issue of your newspaper, then I shall die within yourlifetime because I know that a troublemaker and liar does not have a long life and in the end dies a failure, suffering from disgraceand regret, within the lifetime of his severest enemies. It is best that he dies so that he does not bring ruination on God’s servants.But if I am not a liar and slanderer, and if I am instead graced by Divine revelations, and if I am the Promised Messiah, then, I trust in the Grace of God, that in accor- dance with Allah’s tradition, you shall not escape the punishment of a liar. So if you are notafflicted in my lifetime with a punishment that is not of a man’s making, but is solely from God, such as plague, cholera or some other deadly illness, then I have not been sent by God.
- This is not a prediction based on a revelation or communion from Allah but a mere prayer through which I have asked for a Divinejudgment.
- And I pray to God. O My Master! Thou art Seeing, Powerful, Knowing, and Aware. You are fully aware of what is in my heart. If my claim of being the Promised Messiah is a mere fabrication of my soul, and if I am in Your eyes a troublemaker and liar whose work of day and night is to slander, then I pray before You with great humbleness, my beloved God, that You cause me to die in the lifetime of Maulvi Sanaullah. Grant delight to him, and to his party, through my death. Amen. But my Perfect and True God, if Maulvi Sanaullah is not truth- ful when he slanders me, then I pray before You with great humbleness that you destroy him in my lifetime, not through the hands of humans, but through the plague, cholera or other deadly illness — except in the case that he (Maulvi Sanaullah) unambiguously repents before me and in front of my party from his abusive and foul language which heemploys religiously to grieve me. Amen, O Lord of the worlds. I have been greatly tormented at his hands, but continued to exercise patience. But I see now that his abusiveness has exceeded all bounds. He considers me even worse than those thieves and bandits whose existence causes great harm to the world. In his abuse and slander, he has not even acted upon the Quranic injunction: “And follow not that of which thou hast no knowledge.” (17:36). He has taken me to be the worst person in the world, and has spread my reputation to distant lands that this man is inreality a mischief-monger, a thug, a materialist, a liar, a fabricator and a very wicked man. If these statements had not cast a bad impression on those seeking the truth, I would have borne these imputations patiently. But I see that Maulvi Sanaullah seeks todestroy my mission through these imputations, and wants to raze this edifice that You, O my Master and the one who has sent me, have shaped with Your own hands. So I reach out to Your holiness and mercy and beseech You to render a true decision between Maulvi Sanaullah and myself. So that he who is truly a mischief-monger and a liar in Your eyes should die in thelifetime of the truthful one or some other grave calamity which is the equivalent of death befalls him. O My beloved Master! Make it so. Our Lord, decide between us and our people with truth, and Thou art the Best of Deciders (7:89). Amen. Amen again.
- Finally, it is requested that Maulvi Sahib should publish this entire statement of mine in his newspaper, and should write whatever he wishes beneath it. The decision is now in the hands of God.
The Writer: Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Promised Messiah Written on April 15, 1907, Rabi-ul-Awwal 1, 1325
The paragraph numbers appearing in the statement above are not part of the original announcement and have only been added here for ease of reference and understanding.
In this announcement, Hazrat Mirza had invited Maulvi Sanaullah for an adversarial prayer, and for seeking a final decision from Allah, a decision that would differentiate between the righteous person and the liar. So Hazrat Mirza published his part of the mubahalahprayer. The only thing that remained now for the mubahalah to be completed was for Maulvi Sanaullah to state his part of the prayer and to seek from God a decision between truth and falsehood. This was why Hazrat Mirza had stated in paragraph (4) the following:
Finally, it is requested that Maulvi Sahib should publish this entire statement of mine in his newspaper, and should write whatever he wishes beneath it. The decision is now in the hands of God.
In other words, the adversarial prayer of Maulvi Sanaullah was still needed to complete the mubahalah.
The following statement of paragraph (1) can be misconstrued and deserves some clarification:
If I am indeed such a liar and slanderer as you frequently call me in every issue of your newspaper, then I shall die within your lifetime because I know that a troublemaker and liar does not have a long life. In the end he dies as a failure, suffering fromdisgrace and regret, with- in the lifetime of his severest enemies.
Someone might make the mistake of thinking here that perhaps Hazrat Mirza had stated some general Divine Law, or had madesome prophecy. But in fact this was not so. This was neither a prophecy nor some general Divine Law that was being expounded. This was definitely not a prophecy, as the following statement from paragraph (2) makes it evident:
This is not a prediction based on a revelation or communion from Allah but a mere prayer through which I have asked for aDivine judgment.
It could not have been a statement of a general Divine Law because such a statement would be contrary to historical events.Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) passed away during the lifetime of his bitter enemy, Musailma Kazzab.If this was some general Divine Law, then it would have entailed that all prophets and God-appointed reformers (mujaddideen) would not depart from this world until all their enemies had died during their lifetime.
Such a proposition would be contrary to historical events, and mani- festly incorrect — Hazrat Mirza could not possibly havemade such a patently wrong statement. Hence Hazrat Mirza’s statement was applicable only to one set of circumstances only asfollows: If a bitter enemy of a prophet or a God-appointed person makes an adversarial prayer or enters in a mubahalah invoking the death of the fabricating partythen it would be nec- essary that the liar dies within the lifetime of the righteous one, taking his unfulfilled desires and failure to hisgrave. There is no exception to this rule. Hazrat Mirza himself believed in this rule. Hence, referring to Maulvi Sanaullah in connection with this very rule, Hazrat Mirza wrote as follows in his book Ijaz-e-Ahmadi (page 14), which was published in the year 1902:
I have seen Maulvi Sanaullah’s signed statement in which he requests that he is wholeheartedly willing for a decision in which the parties, i.e., he and I, pray that the one who is a liar should die within the life- time of the righteous.
Thus through the announcement of April 15, 1907 entitled “The Final Determination With Maulvi Sanaullah,” Hazrat Mirza merely implemented the statement that already existed in his book Ijaz-e-Ahmadi. Hazrat Mirza had stated his part of the mubahalah prayer, and now it was left for Maulvi Sanaullah to state his part of the mubahalah prayer that “May the one who is the liar die within the lifetime of the righteous.” In Ijaz-e-Ahmadi (page 37) too, Hazrat Mirza had stated the rule according to which a liar meets his deathduring the lifetime of the righteous person:
If he is ready for this challenge that the liar shall die before the right- eous person, then he shall assuredly die first.
This sentence decisively settles the issue that the demise of the liar in the life of the righteous person is not some general rule, but applies only when an adversarial prayer or mubahalah takes place. The rival of the prophet or God-appointed person must accept the principle of distinguishing between the liar and the righteous person through the death of the liar in the lifetime of the truthful person; otherwisethe rule is invalid.
Further clarification is shed on this issue by the following event which took place soon after the publication of the announcementof April 15, 1907. A non-Ahmadi individual raised an objection before an Ahmadi on this sub- ject. This Ahmadi then conveyed the objection to Hazrat Mirza on October 2, 1907. Subsequently, under the column titled The Promised Messiah’s Diary, the objection andits response were published in the October 10, 1907 issue of the newspaper Al-Hakam on page 5 as follows:
A member of our Organization has queried regarding an objection made by a non-Ahmadi individual to the effect that Hazrat Mirza has written in his book that a liar dies in the lifetime of the truthful person. This is not correct because Musailma Kazzab died after the demise of Prophet Muhammad.
Hazrat Mirza replied to this query in the following words:
Where is it written that the liar dies in the lifetime of the truthful per- son? I have not written this in any of my publications. Bring it before me. In which book have I written this? What I have written is that the liar in a mubahalah dies within the lifetime of the righteous person. Musailma Kazzab never participated in a mubahalah. Prophet Muhammad had merely said the following: “Even if you live after my demise, you will be killed.” So that is what transpired — Musailma Kazzab was murdered shortly thereafter, and Prophet Muhammad’s prophecy was fulfilled. It is incorrect to assert that the liar dies within the life of the righteous person. It is absolutely incorrect to make such an assertion. Did all of Prophet Muhammad’s enemies die within hislifetime? The fact is that thousands of his enemies survived him. Yes, a liar in a mubahalah dies within the lifetime of the truthful person. Similarly, my enemies shall remain alive after my demise. It is required that the opposition should stay until the Day of Judgment as is evident from the following Quranic verse:
And make those who follow thee above those who disbelieve to the day of Resurrection (3:55).
I am amazed when I hear such things. Just look at how my statements are distorted before presentation. The art of distortion hasbeen perfected to the point where even the Jews have been outdone.
Has it ever happened in the life of any prophet, saint orspiritually-elevated person that all their enemies died during their lives? Rather, unbelievers and hypocrites remained alive aftertheir demise. Yes, this much is true that if a liar engages in a mubahalah with a righteous person, then he shall die within the life of the righteous person. Such has been the fate of those who have entered into a mubahalah with us.
I feel sorry for such members of my Organization. Do they not have the simple intelligence to ask the objector as to where have I written that the liars perish and die within the lifetime of the truthful ones without entering into a mubahalah? They should demand to see where such a thing has been written.
Our Organization needs to improve in every aspect of their knowledge and understanding. Members should be able to respond to such objections by exercising their own mental faculties, and use their spiritual insight to solve such issues. But worldly pursuit stifles commonsense to the point where they cannot ask the objector forthe citation of the book where I have written that the liars die in the life- time of the truthful person. In fact, liars will exist tillJudgment Day.
It is noteworthy that in the April 1907 proclamation, Hazrat Mirza’s state- ment contained the following words:
I know that a troublemaker and liar does not have a long life and in the end he dies as a failure, suffering from disgrace and regret, within the lifetime of his severest enemies.
Six months later, in October of 1907, Hazrat Mirza clarified these remarks by stating that his intent was merely that the contestant in a mubahalah who was a liar would die within the life of the truthful contestant, and not that every liar must assuredly die during the lifetime of the truthful person.
Therefore, with reference to the above mentioned sentence from the procla- mation entitled, “The Final Determination With Maulvi Sanaullah,” the only meaning that can legitimately be adopted is the one that Hazrat Mirza clearly explained himself. Anyone who interprets the statement to mean anything other than what the author intended deludes himself and seeks to mislead others as well.
To assert that Hazrat Mirza had enunciated a general law that the liar dies in the lifetime of the truthful person is to give it an interpretation that was not intended by the author. Hazrat Mirza limited the scope of this prin- ciple specifically to the case of a mubahalah.
Outside of a mubahalah, Hazrat Mirza did not accept that the liar necessarily died during the lifetime of the truthful person. This has been convincingly shown above. If Hazrat Mirza employed this sentence in the Announcement without clearly explain- ing its limited scope, then the reason for this was that he was writing the proclamation for the purposes of holding a mubahalah and whatever he was narrating therein pertained to the mubahalah.
Hence it did not even cross his mind that people could possibly interpret this sentence as a general rule applicable to situations outside of the mubahalah.
Precisely for this reason, when Hazrat Mirza was informed of the objection alleging that he had writ- ten that the liar dies in the lifetime of the truthful person, he was livid and demanded to be shown where he had written this. Thus, there was not even the slightest inkling in Hazrat Mirza’s mind that the matter appearing inparagraph (1) of his statement could be taken in some context other than that of a mubahalah.
Accordingly, Hazrat Mirza expressed his annoyance and proceeded to explain explicitly that if his statement had been misunderstood to mean that a liar would necessarily die inthe lifetime of the truthful person in the absence of a mubahalah then this was totally incorrect. Without a mubahalah, this principle was not acceptable. After this announcement, no person has the right to interpret this statement in any way other than what Hazrat Mirzahad himself explained.
And in accordance with the spirit of this interpretation, it is conclusively settled that Hazrat Mirza’s intention in the proclamation relating to Maulvi Sanaullah was that in the event of a mubahalah, the liar would die in the lifetime of the truthful person.
It is a fact that the mubahalah never took place. Maulvi Sanaullah’s own writings bear witness that he not only did not make any adversarial prayer, but also did not accept Hazrat Mirza’s part of the mubahalah prayer. Hazrat Mirza had clearly stated in paragraph (2) that he sought a decision from Allah through a prayer. The prayer through which such a decision was sought was a mubahalah,provided that the adversary said the corresponding prayer as well.
This is the reason why Hazrat Mirza, subsequent to the state- ment ofhis own part of the mubahalah prayer in paragraph (3), demanded of Maulvi Sanaullah in paragraph (4) to publish that prayer in his newspaper and: “…he should write whatever he wishes beneath it. The decision is now in the Hands of God.” This sentence clearlyreveals that Hazrat Mirza on his part had done whatever he had to do in this mubahalah, but at the same time, he required his adversaryto also do something in response.
Hazrat Mirza did not rely on his prayer alone. If he had just relied on his malediction, it could have been said that he hadregarded this mubahalah as being unilateral in nature. However, Hazrat Mirza’s clear demand that Maulvi Sanaullah should also do something in response shows clearly that Hazrat Mirza was awaiting a similar prayer from Maulvi Sanaullah, as is the Quranic dictate “then let us be earnest in prayer.”3
And why should Hazrat Mirza not have awaited a response from Maulvi Sanaullah when HazratMirza’s demand right from the beginning of the contention was that Maulvi Sanaullah should take an adversarial oath or agree to hold amubahalah? And this demand had not been made once, but several times, and this demand could not be fulfilled unless there was some action on the part of Maulvi Sanaullah as well. The mubahalah simply could not be considered as com- pleted until such time thatMaulvi Sanaullah had acted in response.
The proclamation of April 1907 could have served as a final decision with Maulvi Sanaullah only if he had acted in response. And why should Maulvi Sanaullah not have acted in response when he had previously indicat- ed his willingness to participate in a mubahalah, as is evident from Maulvi Sanaullah’s proposal published in the April 19 issue of the newspaper Ahl-e- Hadith? The real meaning of a mubahalah is only that two parties pray separately to God that the party who is deliberately falsifying should be afflicted with a punishment from God. In this regard, the last sentence in paragraph (4) of Hazrat Mirza’s announcement was decisive in ascertaining that Hazrat Mirza did not consider his own unilateral prayer as the final determination in the matter.
For this to be a final determination, he consid- ered it essential that Maulvi Sanaullah should respond and itwas this response that he was awaiting. Indeed, whatever Hazrat Mirza had to do, he had done i.e., there was nothing further that needed to be completed on his part. But what Maulvi Sanaullah had to do was still to be done i.e., to make an adversarial prayer. Thiswas precisely what Maulvi Sanaullah evaded, and he sidestepped most dishonorably.
Maulvi Sanaullah evades the mubahalah
I have used the word sidestepped above because not only did Maulvi Sanaullah not take a face to face adversarial oath, he did not even accept what Hazrat Mirza had written in his statement. If the writings of Hazrat Mirza pertaining to this matter concerning Maulvi Sanaullah are examined, one finds in all of them that Hazrat Mirza’s demand from Maulvi Sanaullah was consistently that he should make an adversarial prayer (as stated in Ijaz- e-Ahmadi), or swear that Hazrat Mirza was a liar (as stated in his writings of the year 1907). However, Maulvi Sanaullah always found some excuse not to, and was so awed by the truth that he never took the challenge. As I have shown above, Maulvi Sanaullah had evaded the mubahalah on two occasions prior to this. On this the third occasion, he was offered one final opportunity to enter into a mubahalah. It was a final opportunity because Hazrat Mirza had repeatedly been informed through Divine revelations that the time of Hazrat Mirza’s demise was near, as can be seen from the followingstatement in Hazrat Mirza’s work titled Al Wasiyyat:
As God, of Power and Glory, has informed me by repeated revelations that the time of my death is near, and His revelation in this connection has been so frequent as to shake my being to the very core and to make this life quite indifferent to me …
Thus, Hazrat Mirza was fully ready to depart for the Hereafter. He had written his final will, and believed that the time of meetingthe Most Beloved was very near, and he was ready for this journey. However, Hazrat Mirza’s belief in his truthfulness was so firm and strong that even in this situation when a person expressed a little readiness for a mubahalah, he showed no hes- itation in accepting theinvitation. He did not care that he had been repeatedly informed through Divine revelations that the time of his demise was fastapproaching and this was not an appropriate time to enter into a mubahalah. He was convinced of his truthfulness and had a firm belief that if anyone entered into a mubahalah with him, then God would certainly postpone the time of his demise and show His Divine power in favor of a truthful servant. Firm in this faith, Hazrat Mirza published his part of the mubahalah prayer
and provided Maulvi Sanaullah with the full opportunity to swear that he con- sidered Hazrat Mirza to be a liar and fabricator and then topray for the death of the liar. But herein lies the difference between men of God and the slaves of this world. On the one hand was theperson who had received definitive rev- elations of his impending demise and had made preparations to depart for the Hereafter. Yet hefirmly believed that if someone engaged in a mubahalah with him, then Allah would definitely delay the time of his demise till after hisadversary died.
On the other hand was the person, who wanted a confrontation on every issue, and in his writings and speeches assured the people that Hazrat Mirza was an accursed man, a liar, and the Dajjal (Antichrist).
Yet he evaded the invitation to state on oath what he was so confidently alleging, and to pray for the death of the liar! Is this fact alone not sufficient testimony of Hazrat Mirza’s truthfulness that Maulvi Sanaullah, who called himself the “Lion Of Punjab,” showed less courage than a jackal in confronting HazratMirza in a mubahalah? Without a doubt the degree of conviction that Hazrat Mirza — this holy man of God — had in his truthfulness was of a level that no one could have challenged.
Is there any person of understanding who can read Hazrat Mirza’s prayers in his poetic composition that follows and then honestly say that this man is a liar or a fabricator? I present below a few verses from that poem:
O Almighty God! You are the Creator of the heavens and the earth; O Beneficent God! You are the One Who shows the way to goodness
You are the One Who keeps His eyes on the soul of man; You are the One from Whom nothing is hidden
If You find me brimming with disobedience and mischief; If You have adjudged me as a wretched person
Then shatter this contemptible man to pieces; Grant satisfaction to the camp of the enemies
Shower their hearts with the clouds of Your mercy; With Your blessings, bring their every wish to fruition
Turn into my enemy, and hurl flames of fire on my abode; Annihilate my work and my mission
But if You have adjudged me as Your obedient servant; If You have found that my objective is to serve You
If You have seen, in my heart, love for You;
A love that You have kept concealed from the world
Then do treat me with the spirit of love; Divulge some of the Divine secrets unto me
O You Who Himself comes to the truth-seeker;
Is Aware of those whose hearts are afire with Your love
On the basis of the spiritual relationship that You have with me; On the basis of the seeds of love that I have sowed in myheart
I beseech You to come forth for my vindication;
You alone are my sanctuary, the solace of my soul, and my objective.
Maulvi Sanaullah’s response
On the one hand, Maulvi Sanaullah was writing extensively in news- papers alleging that Hazrat Mirza was an accursed man, a liar, and the Dajjal. On the other hand, when he was asked to take a face to face, adver- sarial oath, he became so fearful at this invitation from Hazrat Mirza that he again evaded it as is evident from his response that was published in the April 26, 1907 issue of his newspaper Ahl-e-Hadith. Maulvi Sanaullah at the time was a young and healthy person and knew fully well that Hazrat Mirza’s age was more than seventy years and that he was nearing death.
It was public knowledge that Hazrat Mirza was keeping poor health and hadbeen informed through Divine revelations that his time of demise was near. Yet when Hazrat Mirza extended an invitation for amubahalah through a procla- mation that contained Hazrat Mirza’s part of the mubahalah prayer and requested Maulvi Sanaullah tostate his part of the mubahalah prayer in writ- ing as he deemed fit, Maulvi Sanaullah was so overawed that he abstained from anadversarial prayer.
Maulvi Sanaullah’s response appeared in the April 26, 1907 issue of his newspaper Ahl-e-Hadith. Relevant extracts from his reply are reproduced below:
- My permission was not taken regarding this prayer, and it was pub- lished without my permission.
- This article was not published as a Divine revelation, but it was instead stated that this article was not a prophecy based on a Divinerevelation. That it is presented as a mere prayer…
- My contest is with you. If I were to die, then how would that be a proof for the public?
- With great duplicity, you saw that the plague is raging with great inten- sity; especially the province of Punjab is affected more than any other province. In particular, in Lahore, the capital of Punjab, which is in very close proximity to Amritsar, the situation issuch that it is difficult to dispose of the dead bodies. Under these circumstances, everyone is afraid of the plague. If someone is alive today, there is no guarantee that he will be alive tomorrow. People are dropping dead randomly …
- In any case, this prayer of yours cannot possibly be decisive. The fact is that, in accordance with the hadith, Muslims consider death caused by the plague as a sort of martyrdom. So why should they trust your prayer and consider the person who dies fromthe plague as a liar?
- One of the crafty things you did was to initially pray for death from plague or cholera but at the end, you have added that Godshould afflict the liar with a terrible fate that is equivalent to death.
- You stated in the fourth sentence of your previous article, which is included in the April 19 issue of the newspaper Ahl-e-Hadith, that the messengers of God are very kind and merciful, so they are forever solicitous that nobody should die or come to harm. Sowhy do you now pray for my doom…
Any reasonable person who carefully read Maulvi Sanaullah’s response can observe the perturbed state of his mind. Sometimes he stated, “This is unac- ceptable to me,” and sometimes he asserted, “What shall my death prove to the public?”
Sometimes he observed, “Lahore has been especially ravaged by the plague. Amritsar is close by and the plague will get there too and I fear that I may die from it.” Sometimes he alleged, “This prayer is not decisive,” and sometimes he claimed plaintively, “Why do you pray for my death?”Imagine the emotional condition of this man.
On the one hand, he was so fearful and terror-stricken and, on the other hand, he kept up his charade of deceiving the public by maintaining that he was prepared to confront Hazrat Mirza in every possible way. The following final words to be found in Maulvi Sanaullah’s response are especially revealing in connection with his psychological state:
- In summary, I am prepared to take an oath, in accordance with your request, provided that you inform me regarding the outcome of this oath-taking. I do not accept what you have written, and neither can any other reasonable person.
In actual fact, Maulvi Sanaullah had been informed of the outcome of the mubahalah, but he was resorting to all kinds of excuses to avoid sipping from the cup of death. He could see clearly that if he took an oath after Hazrat Mirza’s proclamation, the mubahalah would be deemed to have occurred and he would have to taste the consequence of “may the curse of Allah be on the liar.” Do thefollowing words of Hazrat Mirza not specify the outcome for the liar?
So that he who is truly a mischief monger and a liar in Your eyes should die in the lifetime of the truthful one or some other grave calamity which is the equivalent of death befalls him.
To say that this statement is too general in nature evidences either unfamil- iarity with the Holy Quran and the tradition of Allah, or is a deliberate ploy to evade the certain outcome. Has there ever lived any messenger or prophet who was vouchsafed by God full knowledge of the unknown future? Maulvi Sanaullah’s quibbling was merely a ruse to evade the mubahalah. In other words, he wanted Hazrat Mirza to say that in such and such year, on such and such day, and at such and such time, a thunderbolt would strike downMaulvi Sanaullah. And unless Hazrat Mirza wrote with this degree of speci- ficity, the aftermath of the mubahalah could not be ascertained. In this way, Maulvi Sanaullah would be able to avoid the mubahalah.
Maulvi Sanaullah’s objections fly in the face of the Quranic statement:
Say: I know not whether that which you are promised is nigh or if my Lord shall appoint for it a distant term (72:25).
It is also clear from the Holy Quran that a promised punishment may take one of several forms and no greater degree of specificity iscalled for:
Say: He has the power to send on you a chastisement from above you or from beneath your feet, or to throw you into confusion, (making you) of different parties, and make some of you taste the violence of others. See how We repeat the messages that they may understand (6:65).
One wonders if Maulvi Sanaullah would have applied the same fatwa to the Quran as he did to Hazrat Mirza.
It appears from reading Maulvi Sanaullah’s response that he was averse to accepting any method for arriving at a decision and no degree of specificity would have satisfied him. When Maulvi Sanaullah had sought details of the punishment; and he was told that the punishment would be death or an infliction equivalent to death, he was ready with the response that Hazrat Mirza had said that the messengers of God were very kind and mer- ciful, so why was he now asking for Maulvi Sanaullah’s death? With this statement Maulvi Sanaullah tried to save his skin by invoking kindness and mercy. The fact is that the qualities of kindness and mercy were mentioned inconnection with Hazrat Mirza’s wish to present his claims with clarity and with supporting arguments — prior to engaging in a mubahalah — so that the adversary’s (Maulvi Sanaullah’s) lack of knowledge and unawareness in the matter may not lead to his doom.
Similarly, when it was stated that the death of the liar may occur from plague or cholera, Maulvi Sanaullah was ready with the response that death caused by the plague was a sort of martyrdom. In the Quran, however, the term “pestilence from heaven”4 occurs for a situation in which all authorities accept that the pestilence referred to was the plague. Maulvi Sanaullah had also surely read in the Holy Quran about the affliction of animal pestilence that visited the Pharaohs.
In addition, he expressed the apprehension that the plague may break out in Amritsar since it was already ravaging the nearbycity of Lahore and that he may lose his life to it. This clearly meant that Maulvi Sanaullah had absolutely no belief that God had the power to control events. When God was beseeched in accordance with the method prescribed in the Quran to differentiate the righteous from the liar, did God not even have the power to save the righteous from the plague or some other pesti- lence?
Maulvi Sanaullah also wrote that death by plague could not be treated as evidence that the deceased person was a liar. Amazing!Then what punish- ment should have been designated for Maulvi Sanaullah — perhaps one that had never been witnessed on the face of this earth? Maulvi Sanaullah’s most remarkable statement was:
My contest is with you. If I were to die, then how would that be a proof for the public?
Do these words not show that all of Maulvi Sanaullah’s swaggering about his readiness to take the oath of the mubahalah was meredeception, and that in fact he did not wish to agree on any method for the settlement of the dispute because he was afraid? Either Maulvi Sanaullah did not believe that he was truthful, or alternatively he had absolutely no faith that God had the power to do what He desired and that He would definitely make the truthful person victorious over the liar in the mubahalah, in accordance with His promise.
At any rate, the facts are that Maulvi Sanaullah neither accepted the method of reaching a decision proposed by Hazrat Mirza as definitive, nor did he agree to embrace this manner of arriving at a decision. On the con- trary, Maulvi Sanaullah plainly stated: “I do not accept what you have written, and neither can any other reasonable person.” Maulvi Sanaullah rejected outright the proposedmanner of reaching a decision, and never even considered an adversarial prayer; leave alone actually making it. What can one do then about the sheer audacity and shamelessness of Maulvi Sanaullah when he claimed to the world after the death of Hazrat Mirza that he had won the mubahalah. In complete disregard of the above narrated facts, he brazenly beckoned the entire world to see the fate of Hazrat Mirza, the person who had participated in a mubahalah with him (Maulvi Sanaullah) and had consequently met his death duringMaulvi Sanaullah’s life!
Justice and faith are lofty qualities, but even the presence of a little shame demanded that after publishing in his newspaper Ahl-e-Hadith all the above narrated excuses for not accepting a mubahalah culminating with: “I do not accept what you have written, and neither can any other reasonable person,” Maulvi Sanaullah should have remained silent after the demise of Hazrat Mirza. In this way his reputation for being “reasonable” would have survived in his close circle of friends.
Actually, he ought to have made every effort to conceal his failing, instead of resorting to the worst sort of shamelessness and fabrication by calling the above narrated proceedings as a mubahalah and trumpeting a vic- tory in it. However, Maulvi Sanaullah belonged to a breed of men that have no shame. Earlier in a lawsuit involving Maulvi Karam-ud-Din resident of Bheen, MaulviSanaullah had recorded a statement in a court in Gurdaspur that if a righteous person told a lie, he still remained righteous. Given thisdefinition of a righteous person, there is no end to the lies a person can tell. Such men have no integrity.
An example of this episode
If Maulvi Sanaullah had reflected on the Quranic verse revealed on the occasion of the visit of the Christian deputation from Najran and the histori- cal events associated with its revelation, he would perhaps have realized that he was doing something that even the Christians had not done. Prophet Muhammad had related to the Christian deputation arguments showing that Jesus was not God, but a man and a prophet. Even after the issue had been fully argued, the Christian deputation remained unconvinced. Allah thenrevealed the following verse:
Whoever then disputes with thee in this matter after the knowledge that has come to thee, say: Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, and our people and your people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and invoke the curse ofAllah on the liars. (3:61)
The Christian delegation first showed readiness to enter into such a contest; whereupon Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) emerged from his house with Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him), Hazrat Fatima (peace be upon her), Hazrat Hasan (peace be upon him), and Hazrat Husain (peace be upon him) along his side to take part in the contest. Thus Prophet Muhammadfulfilled the spirit of this Quranic verse through his action.
But Abdul Masih, the Christian priest of Najran, along with his assembly, refused to enter into a mubahalah in much the same way that Maulvi Sanaullah did many centuries later. Subsequently, Prophet Muhammad passed away during the life of those individuals, but no Christian ever had the audacity to claim that, God forbid, Prophet Muhammad had lost the mubahalah and was a fab- ricator. The fact that only Prophet Muhammad emerged for the mubahalah while the Christians did not was sufficient to impel those Christians toacknowledge that a mubahalah never took place. Yes, if a mubahalah had taken place, then Allah would assuredly have brought those Christians to their deaths during the life of Prophet Muhammad.
Although the Christians were not believers, modesty prevented them from fabricating a lie and then shamelessly bragging about it. So it is espe- cially lamentable to observe that Maulvi Sanaullah’s heart turned out to be even more callous than that of Abdul Masih. Maulvi Sanaullah felt no remorse in making statements in public that contradict what he had himself written earlier. He could have atleast observed the principle of honesty in his opposition of Hazrat Mirza. Alas, Maulvi Sanaullah has digressed very far from the path of morality; his aim has become merely that of making the public laugh through his satire, to lead them astray, and to keep the truth con-cealed from their eyes. But truth does not come into this world so that the efforts of the opposition may subdue it forever:
And Allah was to bring forth that which you were going to hide. (2:72)
Maulvi Sanaullah’s own statement: “I do not accept what you have written, and neither can any other reasonable person,” gave the lieto his later reworked version of the story.
Hazrat Mirza also considered this as a closed matter
Since Hazrat Mirza had clearly expressed his intention to hold a muba- halah in his proclamation of April 15, 1907, some peoplemay want to know if Hazrat Mirza wrote or said anything to indicate that he considered the proclamation inoperative after Maulvi Sanaullah’s outright rejection of this method of settling the dispute. Even if Hazrat Mirza had made no further comments on the matter,his silence would have indicated that he considered the matter closed. The fact is, however, that after Maulvi Sanaullah’s refusal, HazratMirza wrote statements with his own hands evidencing clearly that the proclamation of April 15, 1907 no longer constituted a basis for thefinal deci- sion in the dispute. A proclamation of Hazrat Mirza published in the June 10, 1907 issue of Al-Hakam provides testimony of this fact. The proclamation runs as follows:
“And who is more unjust than he who forges a lie against Allah or gives the lie to His messages?” (6:21)
Alas, a majority of the people of this nation who are called clerics or otherwise profess to be spiritually inspired call the word ofGod as fab- rication when it is recited to them. I have written the book Haqiqat-ul-Wahy to provide conclusive evidence to them. How long will these people continue to do this? Ultimately, there is a day for every judgment to be rendered and a night for every heavenly decree to be revealed. By way of an example, I now present to the public a revelation from God. In particular, my addressees are Maulvi Abu Al- Wafa Sanaullah of Amritsar, Maulvi Abdul Jabbar, Maulvi Abdul Wahid, Maulvi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi also of Amritsar, Jaffer Zatalli of Lahore, and Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan, assistant surgeon Trawari, an employee of the state of Patiala. The revelation is that God addressed me and said: Inni ohafizo kulla munn fil dar wa ohafizoka khasah (I shall grant protection from the plague to every person who is in your house, and grant protection especially to you.)
Accordingly, the last eleven years bear testimony to the truth of this prophecy. And I have the same faith in the Divine origin of these words as I have in the Holy Books of God and in particular the Holy Quran. I bear witness that this revelation is from God. Therefore, if any of the above mentioned people or any other person who sub- scribes to their views believes that this is thefabrication of man, then it is incumbent on him to state this on oath in the following words: “This is a man-made fabrication and not the words of God, and may the curse of Allah be on the one who forges a lie against Allah.” In a like manner, I state on oath: “This is the word of God and may the curse of Allah be on him who makes a false accusation against Allah.” I am hopeful that by following this way God will render a decision.
It must be remembered that I have never said in any of my statements that every person who takes my pledge shall be protected from the plague. Rather, what is mentioned is:
Those who believe and mix not up their faith with iniquity — for them is security and they go aright. (6:82)
Everyone who is not iniquitous, the knowledge of which is only with God, will be protected. The weak (of faith from among my followers) may fall martyr to the plague, but they will earn the reward of a martyr and the plague shall be a means of cleansingand purifying them.
I now look forward to seeing who will state on oath that this statement of mine is a fabrication. But a necessary condition is that the person who does not consider this statement to be the word of God must also make the claim: “I have received this revelation from God that I too shall remain protected from the plague.” In this way, he shall see the punishment for fabrication.
And peace to him who follows the guidance. (20:47) Sincerely,
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
Maulvi Sanaullah flees a fourth time
In the proclamation of June 10, 1907, Hazrat Mirza had challenged by name a number of opposing clerics who considered him a fabricator. He had asked them to state on oath that the revelations mentioned by Hazrat Mirza were a fabrication and to invoke the curse of Allah on the mendacious party. The first person on the list of clerics so challenged was none other than Maulvi Sanaullah. If Hazrat Mirza had considered that his proclamation of April 15, 1907 was the basis of a final settlement in his contention with MaulviSanaullah even after the latter had refused to accept it as a method of resolution, Hazrat Mirza would not have published the June 10,1907 procla- mation, or at the very least, he would not have included Maulvi Sanaullah’s name in the list of the challenged clerics.Accordingly, Hazrat Mirza stated:
Then it is incumbent on any of the aforementioned people, or any other likeminded person, who believes that this is a human fabrication to state on oath that this is a human fabrication and not the words of God, and may the curse of Allah be on the one who rejects the revelation of Allah. Similarly, I too state on oath that these are the words of Allah and may the curse of Allah beon the one who fabricates against Allah. I hope that in this way, God will render a decision.
The preceding statement shows that Hazrat Mirza’s rule of conduct was the same from the beginning to the end. In the above passage too, Hazrat Mirza first invited his opponents to participate in a contest of adversarial oaths, and then took the initiative to first testifyunder oath to his own truthfulness.
This is exactly similar to the procedure he had followed in his announcement pub- lished on April 15,1907. In that too, Hazrat Mirza had first prayed, and only then did he invite Maulvi Sanaullah to make his prayer. After reading theabove mentioned passage, no unprejudiced person can allege that Hazrat Mirza deemed his announcement of April 15, 1907 as the final arbiter in his contention with Maulvi Sanaullah. If Hazrat Mirza had indeed considered it as the final determination, then he would not have subsequently published the preceding announcement wherein the name of Maulvi Sanaullah was included first in the list of opponents.
Thus Hazrat Mirza conclusively settled the matter with Maulvi Sanaullah twice. On the first occasion, Hazrat Mirza made his mubahalah prayer first and then asked Maulvi Sanaullah to follow with a similar prayer, and on the second occasion, Hazrat Mirzamade a statement on oath initially and then invited Maulvi Sanaullah to make a similar statement on oath. However, Maulvi Sanaullahevaded the contest on both occasions — the first time by not making an adversarial prayer and the second time by not making a statementon oath. In a publication titled Muraqqa-e-Qadiani, dated August 1, 1907, Maulvi Sanaullah presented a composition under the heading “The Qadiani Krishna Changes Another Color.” He started the essay with the Persian verses:
Though my beloved may attempt to veil herself profusely; I will nonetheless recognize her from her stature.
Thus Maulvi Sanaullah effectively acknowledged that while Hazrat Mirza may have tried all kinds of methods to get hold of him, he was not one to be nabbed. In other words, Maulvi Sanaullah affirmed that he was not prepared to participate in any contest whether through mubahalah prayer or an adver- sarial oath. Writing in an argumentative and abusive style and all the while showing hisdisinclination towards taking an adversarial oath, Maulvi Sanaullah asserted later in that article:
Then look at this craftiness! He (Hazrat Mirza) is not satisfied just with an oath but also imposes a further condition that his falsifier should also claim that he too will be protected from the plague. O Wonderful! He wants that just as he gets disgracedevery time he brags, his falsifier should get disgraced too…but your falsifier neither claims to be a recipient of revelation like you nor is he devoid of shame and honor…
In brief, he refused outright to take an adversarial oath while camouflaging his refusal with absurdities of the type in the above quoted passage.
The fact is that when Maulvi Sanaullah rejected the proposal sug- gested by Hazrat Mirza on April 15, 1907, Hazrat Mirza proposed this other method for arriving at a decision. Accordingly, Hazrat Mirza stated in his later announcement: “I am hopeful that by following this way God will ren- der a decision.” In other words, if the first method proposed was not acceptable, then perhaps thissecond method would find favor with his opponent. The intent was to somehow find a way to get a Divine judgment whereby theone who is truthful may be differentiated from the liar.
However, just as Maulvi Sanaullah had refused previously to engage in a mubahalah or adversarial supplication, or a statement on oath, he avoided a contest on this occasion as well.
Four excuses by Maulvi Sanaullah
Thus, Maulvi Sanaullah avoided a mubahalah or a sworn statement on four separate occasions as follows:
- When Hazrat Mirza invited Muslim scholars to a mubahalah in his book Anjam Atham, Maulvi Sanaullah’s name was included in the list of invitees. But Maulvi Sanaullah did not take the field and avoided a confrontation.
- Following that, Hazrat Mirza invited Maulvi Sanaullah to a mubaha- lah in his book Ijaz-e-Ahmadi, but Maulvi Sanaullah did not respond again.
- After this, on April 15, 1907, Hazrat Mirza published an announce- ment in which he first stated his prayer and then invitedMaulvi Sanaullah to make a reciprocal prayer. But Maulvi Sanaullah refused to reciprocate and stated: “I do not accept what you have written, and neither can any other reasonable person.”
- Following that, Hazrat Mirza published his adversarial oath in the June 10, 1907 issue of Al-Hakam, and invited Maulvi Sanaullah to take a reciprocal adversarial oath. Maulvi Sanaullah once again refused to take such an oath.
A one sided malediction made by a God’s appointee need not be accepted
It is thus proven beyond any doubt that in the proclamation of April 15, 1907, Hazrat Mirza’s prayer that the liar may die in the lifetime of the truth- ful person was in the nature of a mubahalah prayer. However, Maulvi Sanaullah refused to participate in the mubahalah in no uncertain terms, and therefore the mubahalah never took place. Consequently, Hazrat Mirza never referred to hisunilateral prayer as bringing about a final determination in his dispute with Maulvi Sanaullah. On the contrary, he invited MaulviSanaullah again to participate in a contest of final determination that would employ a slightly different method from the one proposedearlier. But Maulvi Sanaullah avoided this confrontation as well.
Even if we assume for the sake of argument that Hazrat Mirza’s inten- tion was just to make a unilateral malediction in his proclamation of April 15, 1907, the lesson from the Quran and sunnah is that unilateral maledictions need not necessarily be accepted.In fact, maledictions are generally not accepted, regardless of the adversary’s degree of perverseness, and regard- less of the grief that this adversary might have brought upon a messenger of God or upon a God-appointed person. Consider the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah beupon him) who was the loftiest exemplar of kindness and mercy. On the occasion of the monumental victory at Makkah, Prophet Muhammad unconditionally forgave his bloodthirsty enemies who had brought severe torment upon him for many years. He even kept on praying for the forgiveness of the hypocrites who schemed day and night to bring distress upon Prophet Muhammad and were treacherous ene- mies of Islam.
However, there was one incident that caused Prophet Muhammad such anguish and revulsion that his human side caused him tomaledict against the guilty party for several days. This incident was the merciless slaughter of sev- enty of his dedicated companions by a tribe that claimed it needed religious teachers to convert the tribe to Islam. The Prophet dispatched seventy qaris (scholars of Quran)with the delegation from the treacherous tribe only to find later that their request for religious teachers was a ploy to lure this band ofunarmed and innocent Muslims into their territory where they were butchered mercilessly. The Prophet was deeply grieved and maledictedagainst the guilty party. In response, the following Divine decree was revealed:
Thou hast no concern in the matter whether He turns to them (mercifully) or chastises them; surely they are wrongdoers. (3:128)
While acknowledging that the tribe was cruel, God did not accept Prophet Muhammad’s malediction against the tribe, and instead prohibited Prophet Muhammad from maledicting in the future.
Given this context, it is entirely unjust for anybody to demand that God should have accepted Hazrat Mirza’s unilateral prayer. However, as demon- strated earlier, Hazrat Mirza’s malediction was not a unilateral prayer, but was in fact his part of the mubahalah prayer. By completing his part of the mubahalah prayer, Hazrat Mirza put the onus of completing the mubahalah on Maulvi Sanaullah,and awaited his response in the form of a counter male- diction. But far from completing the mubahalah with a counter malediction, Maulvi Sanaullah completely rejected the proposed method of reaching a decision. Thus, no mubahalah could take place.
Only two methods of mubahalah are evidenced by the Holy Quran
Some critic may point out that Hazrat Mirza too has referred in his books to the unrequited unilateral maledictions of his opponents for the destruction of the liar and held it to be a proof of his truthfulness. In all of these instances, Hazrat Mirza had notcountered with reciprocal maledictions. I consider it necessary therefore to explain the permissible methods of mubahalah as evidenced by the Holy Quran and hadith. The Holy Quran evidences only two modes of mubahalah:
- The first method is sanctioned by the Quranic verse in which the Quran itself calls the contest a mubahalah. This verse lays out the following procedure: Whoever then disputes with thee in this matter after the knowledge that has come to thee, say: Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, and our people and your people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and invoke the curse ofAllah on the liars. (3:61) This is the most common and widely understood method of mubahalah in which the disputants make adversarial supplications for the curse of Allah to be on the liars.
- There is however a second method of mubahalah sanctioned by the Quran, mention of which is made in two places in the HolyQuran. The first instance is in the Quranic chapter Al-Baqarah: Say: If the abode of the Hereafter with Allah is specially for you to the exclusion of the people, then invoke death if you are truthful(2:94). The second instance is in the Quranic chapter Al-Jumuah: Say: O you who are Jews, if you think that you are the favorites of Allah to the exclusion of other people, then invoke death, ifyou are truthful (62:6).
In both these instances, the phrase “then invoke death” (tamannawu-l- mauta) has been explained by Hazrat Ibn Abbaas (May Allah be pleased with him) in these words: “Pray for the death of the one who lies out of the two parties.” This clearly implies that the prayer is for the death of the liar to take place within the lifetime of the righteous party. Thus the opponents of a prophet are directed that if they deem themselves to be truthful and consider the prophet to be a liar then they should pray for the death ofthe liar in the lifetime of the truthful party. However, the prophet is not instructed to make a unilateral maledic- tion. Asmentioned earlier, when Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) maledicted against a tribe that wasguilty of the most heinous barbarity, he was stopped from doing so by Divine command. The rationale for this was that the prophets and appointees of God are sent as a source of blessing for the people and not for invoking evil on them. On the other hand, those who oppose them or reject their truthfulness are given full liberty to ask for a Divine decision by praying for the death of the liar in the lifetime of the truthful one after having listened to the arguments of their rival. If they did so, then God would assuredly manifest the truth and render a true decision, as is evident from theaforementioned Quranic verses.
Besides the mention of this matter in the Holy Quran, events from the life of Prophet Muhammad provide examples of this method of dispute resolution. The disbelievers of Makkah before they left on the expedition that culminat- ed in the Battle of Badar held on to thecurtains of Kabah and prayed thus:
O Allah, assist the superior of the two armies and the most rightly guid- ed of the two parties and the most honorable of the twogroups.
According to certain traditions, Abu Jahl prayed in the field of battle, saying:
O Allah, whoever of us is the greater cutter of the ties of relationship and more wicked, destroy him tomorrow morning.
Hence, contrary to all expectations, Abu Jahl and the other chieftains of the tribe of Quraish met their deaths during the Battle of Badar.
Thus, a God-appointed person or a Reformer is acting exactly in accor- dance with the Quran and Hadith if he puts forward as evidence of his truthfulness the test that if any of his opponent was to pray for the death of the liar in the lifetime of the truthful person then the person making such a malediction will die in the lifetime of the God appointed person or Reformer. Hazrat Mirza did not deviate from the two Divinely sanctioned methods of mubahalah in all of his writings on the subject. Thus, he either called hisopponents for a mubahalah, that is to a contest in which both parties made adversarial prayers or took adversarial oaths, or he asked hisopponents in his writings that if any of them prayed unilaterally for the death of the liar in the lifetime of the truthful one, then the personmaking such a malediction would die in Hazrat Mirza’s lifetime.
Aside from these two methods of holding a mubahalah, any other law- ful or accepted method cannot be established from either the Holy Quran or the Hadith. Consequently, Hazrat Mirza did not act on any other method besides these two. Hazrat Mirza had been afforded a distinction by Allah in that any opponent who held a mubahalah with him in which the two parties prayed for the death of the liar then the opponent would die in Hazrat Mirza’s lifetime. In addition, any opponent who unilaterally prayed for the death of the liar in the lifetime of the truthful person under the provisions of “…then invoke death…” (62:6) would also die in Hazrat Mirza’s lifetime. This distinction made Hazrat Mirza’s life a sign from Allah.
- Hazrat Mirza invited the Maulvis of the realm on many occasions to settle their contention with him in accordance with the first method of holding a mubahalah, He told them that since they considered him to be a liar and a false claimant, they should hold a mubahalah with him. If ten Maulvis were to engage in a mubahalah with him, they would receive their due punishment, and if a thousand Maulvis were to par- ticipate in a mubahalah with him, then the curse of Allah would manifest on each and every one of them. Some clerics kept boasting from afar but none of them had the courage to step forward and accept the challenge openly except one. This solitary exception was Maulvi Abdul Haq who did engage in a mubahalah with Hazrat Mirza. But as describedearlier, at the time of the mubahalah with Maulvi Abdul Haq, Hazrat Mirza held the view publicly that Maulvi Abdul Haq wasmere- ly mistaken and deserving of mercy. So Hazrat Mirza did not maledict in response. On the other hand, Maulvi Abdul Haq’s malediction had the opposite effect on Hazrat Mirza’s missionary work which made rapid advancement in the period followingthe mubahalah.
- Many of Hazrat Mirza’s adversaries met their doom by participating in the second method of mubahalah i.e., a unilateral prayer forthe death of the liar. A detailed account of such opponents is to be found in Hazrat Mirza’s work Haqiqat-ul-Wahy. However, there is no evidence from either the Holy Quran or from the Hadith that a God-appointed person is permitted to make a unilateralmalediction. Hence, Hazrat Mirza never made a malediction unilaterally. This was also the case in Hazrat Mirza’s contention withMaulvi Sanaullah. In his proclamation of April 15, 1907, Hazrat Mirza stated his part of the mubahalah prayer and required MaulviSanaullah to publish this prayer along with Maulvi Sanaullah’s adversarial prayer. Hazrat Mirza’s action of taking the initiative tostart the mubahalah was akin to the action of Prophet Muhammad when he came out with his immediate family comprising of Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Fatima, and Hasan and Husain, may Allah be pleased with them, to take part in the mubahalah with the Christiandelegation of Najran. In a sim- ilar vein, Hazrat Mirza stepped out for a mubahalah through the publication of the proclamation of April 15, 2007, and stated succinctly in it his part of the mubahalah malediction in order to induce the oppo- nent to come out andaccept the challenge to participate in the mubahalah. However, Maulvi Sanaullah’s refusal to complete the requirements of the mubahalah left the process incomplete.5 Maulvi Sanaullah’s refusal was predicated on the knowledge that even those opponents of Hazrat Mirza who had participated in the second type of mubahalah, i.e a unilateral malediction, had died in the lifetime ofHazrat Mirza and in this way Allah had systematically shown His clear signs. Maulvi Sanaullah was being invited to make an adversarial prayer which made the contest into a more severe mubahalah ofthe first type. Maulvi Sanaullah, therefore, considered his welfare best served by refus- ing the contest and so he refused.
Did Hazrat Mirza ever maledict against any person unilaterally?
On certain occasions, Hazrat Mirza did make unilateral maledictions that were not meant to induce an opponent to accept a contest. However, these maledictions were never for the destruction of anyone, but were condi- tional maledictions addressed to God about his own person. For example, Hazrat Mirza supplicated to God that if he was a liar in His eyes then he should be effaced from the surface of this earth. Accordingly in a proclama- tion dated November 5, 1899, Hazrat Mirza supplicated as follows:
O My Almighty God, You know that most people have not accepted me. They consider me a fabricator, and call me an unbeliever, a liar, and Dajjal (Antichrist). I have been abused and tormented by all kinds of hurtful statements. I have also been called corrupt; a devourer of people’s properties; a symbol of broken promises; usurper of people’s rights; …mischievous andmurderous…each one of these people directing their vituperations at me thinks that he is thereby performing an act of great virtue. So my Lord, my Almighty God, show me the way. Manifest a sign whereby Your servants who have a righteous dis-position may realize with strong conviction that I am indeed honorable in Your eyes… But my Lord, if You consider my conduct tobe lacking, then erase my existence from the face of this earth, so that I may not become a source of innovation in religion and ofleading people astray.
Towards the end of this announcement, Hazrat Mirza observed with great plainness:
My eyes will be turned towards You and towards Your decision every day until Your assistance descends from the heavens. Neither do I address any opponent in this announcement, and nor do I invite them to any contest.
Glory be to God! Subsequent to this prayer, God manifested many glorious signs in support of Hazrat Mirza and assisted his mission with a mighty assistance so that it made phenomenal progress in a short period of time.
It would not be out of place to mention here a strange miracle of nature. All the opponents of Hazrat Mirza who sought a judgment based on the second method of mubahalah and prayed for the death of the liar in the lifetime of the truthful oneperished without exception. In all these instances, Hazrat Mirza’s life was a sign of truthfulness. However, when the time forHazrat Mirza’s demise drew near, God made his death also a sign of his truthfulness. It happened in the following way: When Hazrat Mirza invited Maulvi Sanaullah for a mubahalah in his announcement entitled, “A Final Determination” dated April 15, 1907, Hazrat Mirza chose the more accepted form of mubahalah i.e., the first method in which the parties make adversar- ial maledictions that the liar may die in the lifetime of the truthful one. Maulvi Sanaullah rejected this proposal in his paper Ahl-eHadith dated April 26, 1907 in the following words: “I do not accept what you have written, and neither can any other reasonable person.” However, Maulvi Sanaullah cited the Quranic verse: “And let not those who disbelieve think that our granting them respite is good for themselves. We grant them respite only that they may add to their sins; and for them is a humiliating chastisement” (3:178), and similar other verses and stated that liars and fabricators do live a long time. Thus, Maulvi Sanaullah evaded the mubahalah and presented his own way of distinguishing a liar and a fabricator by saying: “God the Most Highgrants a long life to liars, frauds, mischief makers, and disobedient people” (Ahl-e Hadith, April 26, 1907). In a later issue of the paper Ahl-e Hadith, it was published that Mussailma, the liar, lived till after Prophet Muhammad had passed away. Thus, a truthful person had died in the lifetime of a con- firmed liar. It appears from an examination of these statements that God’s plan was to judge Maulvi Sanaullah by the same method that he had put for- ward himself and was continuing to put forward in his statements, namely that “God, the Most High, grants a long life to liars, frauds, mischief-makers, and disobedient people.” This is how things transpired, and God gave this cleric much leeway, and he was granted a long life under the provision of, “We grant them respite only that they may add to their sins.” And his long life only added to his scroll of misdeeds. His decree that“God the Most High grants a long life to liars, frauds, mischief-makers, and disobedient people” proved true in his case, and Hazrat Mirza passed away in his lifetime just as Prophet Muhammad had passed away in the life of Mussailma, the liar. In this way, Hazrat Mirza’s demise also proved to be a sign of his truthfulness. (Author)
- Sahih Bukhari Book 55, hadith 608 and 648. 2, Sahih Bukhari Book 55 hadith 649 and 650.
- Whoever then disputes with thee in this matter after the knowledge that has come to thee, say: Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, and our peo- ple and your people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and invoke the curse of Allah on the liars. (3:61)
- 4. “But those who were unjust changed the word which had been spoken to them, for another saying, so We sent upon the wrongdoers a pestilence from heaven, because they transgressed.” (2:59)
- See Appendix at the end of the chapter.