CHAPTER 58: HAQIQAT-UL-WAHY (THE REALITY OF REVELATION)

Reasons for writing the book Haqiqat-ul-Wahy

Hazrat Mirza was not much concerned about Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan’s opposition. There were hundreds of clerics and hereditary religious leaders (Pirs) throughout India, and in particular in the province of Punjab, who were similarly antagonistic. Their hostility had proven fruitless as did Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan’s enmity.

However, what really worried Hazrat Mirza and made him apprehensive was the new anti-Islamic doctrine Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan had invented. This doctrine held that belief in God and the Hereafter was sufficient for salvation, and it was not necessary to believe in the Holy Prophet and the Quran for salvation. In fact, Dr. Abdul HakimKhan held that belief in the Holy Prophet and the Quran as a necessary element of salvation amounted to shirk i.e., associating others with Allah. Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan was promoting his impure and anti-Islamic doctrine by impressing people with the narration of hisdreams and revelations. This was a dangerous assault on Islam.

So Hazrat Mirza immediately resolved to write a book to discuss these two matters. First, at what stage of a person’s spiritual development can that person’s dreams and revelations be deemed as trustworthy and as being received from Allah? Second, to impress on people that along with belief in the Unity of God and the Hereafter, it is also essential to believe in prophets and in revealed books in general, and in the Quran and the Holy Prophet in particular. Without this, neither faith is complete nor can man properly advance in the doing of good deeds. 

Thus man’s progress towards the higher stages of spirituality is impaired and results in failure to attain nearness to God. In fact, there is a real danger that man may spiritually go down a slippery slope that ends in atheism. Thus, far from achieving salvation, this kind of creed puts a person on a path that leads to sorrow and torment. The third topic in this book is a reply to the various objections that Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan had raised against Hazrat Mirza from time to time.

Hazrat Mirza started writing Haqiqat-ul-Wahy, in 1906, but because of its voluminous size, the book was published only on May 15, 1907. In 1906, while Hazrat Mirza was writing this book, I took an extended leave from work and set up residence in Qadian to be in the service of Hazrat Mirza. It was Hazrat Mirza’s practice during the period of composition that he would generally relate the material he had written that day to his companions when he had the opportunity to sit with them.

I consider it appropriate to quote a passage from the beginning of Haqiqat-ul-Wahy as it would help the reader understand the rationale for the book and aid in safeguarding him from the mischief of those who claim to see true dreams, and of self-proclaimedrecipients of revelation. Such people take great pride in their meaningless dreams and their own desire-motivated inspirations, and on that basis promote erroneous creeds and flawed actions. Hazrat Mirza writes:

After this, let it be clear that I felt the need to write this book because, just as hundreds of mischiefs and innovations have taken birth in this period, one mega-mischief that has arisen is that most people are unaware of the circumstances and the degree to which a dream or rev- elation is trustworthy and under what situations is there an apprehension that it may be a satanic speech rather than a Divine one, or that it may be a narration of one’s own desires rather than that of the Lord.1 It should be remembered that Satan is man’s inveterate enemy and desires to destroy man by adopting many different tactics. It is pos- sible that a dream may be true, but may still be inspired by Satan. Although Satan is a big fabricator, but sometimes Satan may deceive by telling the truth to snatch away a man’s faith. However, Satan can- not hold sway over those people who excel in righteousness, faith and in their love of Allah as is borne testimony to by the Quran: “My ser- vants — thou hast surely no authority over them.”(17:65) Such people can be identified by the fact that God’s blessings are showered upon them, and thousands of signs and examples of God’s acceptance are found in their person, as I shall narrate in this book, God willing. However, unfortunately most people are still captives in the claws of Satan but even so they desire to promote their incorrect creed and their impure faith by their dreams and revelations. In fact, to support their viewpoint, they present their dreams and revelations, or have the inten- tion of presenting such dreams and revelations in order to scorn the true faith … So this is the reason that has persuaded me to manifest these differencesfor the benefit of truth-seekers…

Three stages regarding the classification of dreams and revelations

After this, Hazrat Mirza establishes a three-stage classification of dreams and revelations, each of which is discussed in aseparate chapter.

The first chapter focuses on people at the lowest rung of spirituality. This includes those people who “sometimes have true dreams or sometimes have true revelations, but they have no connection with God and they receive no share whatsoever of the light thatis given to those who have a connection with God. Their lower self is far removed from the source of spiritual light.”

Hazrat Mirza begins this chapter as follows:

Let it be clear that man has been created for the purpose of identifying his Creator, and to take his faith regarding God’s nature and attributes to the stage of full conviction. So God has fashioned man’s brain in such a manner as to allow him the power of rational thinking. This enables man to reflect on God’s creation and to see the fine imprint of the perfect wisdom with which the Creator has fashioned every atom of the Universe, and the firm and lasting structure and system of the Universe. By getting to thebottom of this, man develops a clear vision to see that this vast system comprising the earth and the heavens could not have come into being on its own without a Creator. Rather, it cer- tainly must have a Creator.

In addition, man has been endowed with spiritual senses and spiritual power so that any omissions and shortfalls that still remain in one’s knowledge of God through the process of rationalization may be made up by the spiritual power because it is apparent that by the exercise of rational power alone one cannot achieve the full knowledge of God. 

The reason is that the rational powers with which man is endowed can only take man to the point where after observing the subservience of the earth and the heavens,or their arrangement full of wisdom or scrutinizing the enduring processes of nature, one can conclude that there should be a Creator of this Universe so full of marvels and wisdom. It is not within the ability of rational powers to convince man that in fact there is a Creator. It is obvious that unless man’s knowledge reaches the point where he is certain of the existence of the Creator, it is not enough to just stop at feeling the need for a Creator because that certainly would not be perfect knowledge.

The statement that there should be a Creator of these manufactures is certainly not the same as the statement that the Creatorwhose need was accepted, in fact does exist. 

Therefore, it became necessary to endow man with spiritual prowess in addition to rational power so that the seekers after truth may complete their journey and fulfill the natural urge that is impressed in humanintelligence for perfect knowledge. So if these spiritual powers are put to full use and there is no veil in between, they are able to show the countenance of the Real Beloved with such clarity as is not possible to show with rational powers alone. 

So just as the Generous and Merciful God has put this great thirst and hunger in human nature to have perfect knowledge of God, likewise in order to achieve that perfect knowledge, he has granted human nature two kinds of powers — rational powers whose source is the mind and spiritual powers whose source is the heart and whose clarity is dependent on the clarity of the heart. There are matters that cannot be fully discovered by rational powers but spiritual powers can get to the bottom of these matters to find out their true reality. 

However, spiritual powers have only passive strength and their purpose is to cleanse to the point where the benefi- cenceof the Source of All Beneficence can get reflected in the spiritual wayfarer.

It is absolutely necessary that the spiritual wayfarers should be prepared to strive for that bounty, and there should be no veil or barrier in between so that they can obtain from God, the Most High, the bounty of the perfect knowledge of God… However, since human nature is not generally free from veils suchas the love and greed of this world, pride, conceit and arrogance, hypocrisy and selfishness, and other moral vileness, and purposeful omission and negligence of the rights of Allah and of fellow men, and of turning away from the stipu- lations of honesty and the subtleties of love and faithfulness, and purposely severing the connection with God.

Hence people with suchtemperament by virtue of different kinds of veils, curtains and barriers, and sensual desires and lasciviousness are not deserving of the great bounty of being addressed to and having a conversation with God to any significant extent through revelation of the kind that manifests the light of acceptance. However, the kindness of Allah does not want human nature to go to waste. In order tosow a seed, He has established this practice that most men on occasions have true dreams and

revelations so that they may be able to know that the way is open for them to move forward. But these dreams and revelations carry with them no sign of Divine acceptance and of His love and blessings. Nor are such people cleansed of the impurities of their souls.

The sole purpose of their dreams is to provide convincing testimony to them for believing in the pious prophets ofGod. If they were completely deprived of the understanding of true dreams and revelations and if they did not have any knowledge about them which could be called “certain knowledge” then they could have an excuse before God that they could not understand the reality of prophethood because they were total strangers in this area. 

They could say that: “We were merelyunfamiliar with the reality of prophethood and our nature was not given any example to understand it; so how could we understand this hidden reality?” Hence, it has been the ancient practice of God from the time that the foundation of this worldwas laid that ordinary people have been shown to a certain extent true dreams and are also granted true revelations, totally divorced from the fact whether they are pious or evil, virtuous or transgressors, follow the true religion or a false reli- gion, sothat their presumption and conjecture which is based on anecdotes and narrations can be transformed into certain knowledge.

They thus have a sample in hand for their spiritual development. In order to achieve this objective, God in His absolute wisdomhas designed the human brain and provided him with such spiritual powers that he can see some true dreams and can have some true revelations, but those true dreams and revelations do not provide testimony of righteousness. Instead, they are merelysamples pointing the way to the paths of spiritual development…

The second chapter of Haqiqat-ul-Wahy discusses people in the middle category i.e., those people “who have some true dreams or receive true rev- elations, and have some connection with God, but not a significant one. Their lower self has not been totally obliterated by the spark of Divine light although it has moved them closer to that state.” Hazrat Mirza begins this chapter as follows:

There are some people in this world who practice self-restraint and chastity to a certain extent and in addition to this, they possessa natural propensity for receiving true dreams and visions. Further, their mental makeup is such that they experience some dreams and visions. They also put in some effort for the reformation of their soul and thereby develop superficial piety and righteousness. This marks the onset of their receiving a limited number of true dreams and visions but their soul is not purgedof all darkness. Some of their prayers are even

accepted but not in the realm of great tasks because their righteousness is not perfect. Instead, their righteousness is like that clearwater which, although it appears clear from above, actually has mud and filth at its bottom. And because the purification of their soul is incomplete and their sincerity and piety is imperfect, they falter during times of tribula- tions. If Allah’s mercy is with them,and if He covers their failings, they are able to pass through life without stumbling. But if tribulation befalls them, there is apprehension that they may meet an ill fate like that of Balaam (the hypocrite), and may end up being likened to dogs despitehaving received revelation. Satan is ever present at their door because of the imperfect condition of their knowledge, actions and faith and at the slightest opportunity quickly enters their abode …

3. The third chapter discusses the highest group i.e., those people who “receive perfect and clear revelations from God, and have thehonor of being addressed and spoken to by God. They see true dreams that are clear like the early morning light. They have an excellent and perfect relationship of love with God. They enter into the fire of God’s love and their lower self is burned to ashes by the spark of spiritual light.” In this chapter, Hazrat Mirza then goes on to state the following about this group:

Those who forge a complete relationship with God can be likened to the person who first sees the light of a fire from a distance, then draws closer until he enters the fire, his body is totally incinerated and noth- ing but the fire remains. Similarly, the person who seeks a complete relationship with God grows closer to God, day by day, until his entire being is consumed by the fire of God’s love and his lower self is burned to ashes from the spark of spiritual light and its place is taken by the fire. This is the pinnacle of the blessed love that such a person has for God. As regards the affair whether a person has a complete relationship with God, the best sign of this is that Divine attributes are born in such a person and the baser side of human nature is incineratedby the spark of Divine light. A new personality takes birth and a new life becomes visible that is totally different from thatperson’s previous existence. When iron is put into fire and after the blaze has permeated it thoroughly, it takes on the appearanceof the fire, but it cannot be said that it is fire although it manifests all the characteristics of fire. 

Similarly, a person who is totallyconsumed by the spark of God’s love from head to toe exhibits a Divine manifestation, but it cannot be said that he is god; instead he is a person who has been engulfed by that blaze and after being totally consumed by it thousands of signs of that complete loveare born in him. There is not just one sign so that it may appear dubious to an intelligent seeker of the truth but there are hun- dreds of signs that identify this relationship.

After this, Hazrat Mirza narrated many signs that distinguish from ordinary people those people who are close to Allah and who have totally effaced themselves in Allah. As a result of these signs, it is not difficult for an intelligent person to identify these chosen people of Allah. Further on in this chapter, Hazrat Mirza writes:

In short, only that soul accepts the perfect and complete light of God’s revelation that has completely and perfectly purified itself. Just being the recipient of revelations and dreams is in and of itself no evidence of any special virtue or excellence unless a soul by virtue of complete purification can obtain this reflective state and the face of the Real Beloved becomes visible in his person.

Barring rare exceptions, just as God provides everyone in their physical appearance with eyes, nose, ears, the sense of smell and all other powers without being niggardly towards any nation, in a like manner God has not deprived the people of any nation at any time from the power of cultivating their spiritual potential. And just as you observe that the light of the sun falls every-where and no place whether clean or polluted is left out, the same law of nature applies to the light of the spiritual sun and no place whether clean or polluted can be left deprived of its light. 

But certainly, the spiritual light loves clean and clear hearts. When that spiritual sun casts its light on clean things, it makes them reflect its entire light and traces the picture of its entire face in them — much in the same way as you can see the reflection of the sun in clean water or a mirror when it faces them…There is another point worthy of remembering here and it is that not all the members of the third group are alike in their aptitude to accept theDivine favors even though all of them have a complete rela- tionship with God and are the recipient of perfect and clear revelation. 

Their natural ability is not all alike — for some the limit of their natural ability is small, it is larger for others, even more extensive for others, and for some it is so extensive that it belies imagination. The bonds of love with God for some are strong and for others even more so. And for some this connection is so powerful that the people of the world cannot discern it and nointellect can fathom it.

Further on, Hazrat Mirza states regarding these same people in the third group:

It should be remembered that the dreams of the people in the third group are uncommonly clear. Their prophecies are overwhelmingly true and made about momentous events, and they are so abundant that they could be likened to a vast ocean. Similarly, their knowledge and expounded truths are superior in their quality and quantitythan the rest of humanity.

And they discern truths in the Quran that others are unable to perceive because they receive help fromthe Holy Spirit. And just as they are granted a spiritually living heart, they are also granted a spiritual tongue, so that the knowledge they expound springs from the pure fountain of their own practical condition and not from the dirty mud of mere descriptive words. All the excellent traits of human nature are to be found in them and all kinds of assistance is rendered to them. Their bosom is expanded and they are granted extraordinary valor in the way of God. 

They are not afraid to die for the sakeof Allah nor are they frightened of being burnt by fire. The fountain of their wisdom irrigates a parched world and strengthens the weak-hearted. They stand ready for any sacrifice to please Allah and they give them- selves up entirely to Him. For this reason, God becomes their patron. When they incline wholeheartedly towards God, He, in a like manner, inclines towards them so that it becomes evident to everyone that God is assisting them in every facet of their life …

Hazrat Mirza places all the illustrious pious people of the Muslim nation, the muhaddathin (plural of muhaddath, people of great spiritual elevation, to whom God speaks) and the auliya (friends of God) in this category.

Fourth chapter

After discussing the aforementioned three categories at length, Hazrat Mirza added a fourth chapter titled, God’s Grace and Kindness Has Placed Me in Which of These Three Groups. Hazrat Mirza states in this chapter that God has placed him in the third, i.e., the best, group. He adds that the first thing God endowed him with was a sound heart (qalb-e-saleem). Elucidating the concept of asound heart, he observes:

That is, a heart that is truly devoted to God, the Glorified and Exalted, and none other. I was once young and now I am old but in no stage of my life did I find that my real connection was with anyone but God, the Glorified and Exalted.

Hazrat Mirza then goes on to describe how he obtained this sound heart and the rewards from God:

It was not possible for me to find this blessing had I not followed in the paths of my lord and master, the pride of the prophets, the best of the creation, Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa, may peace and blessings of Allah be on him. So whatever I obtained, Iobtained as a result of following him. I know with certainty that a person can neither reach God nor receive true knowledge of God without following this Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

I would also like to reveal here the very first thing that takes birth in one’s heart after embarking on a true and perfect discipleship of the Holy Prophet. So let it be remembered that that thing is a sound heart (qalb-e-saleem) i.e., a heart that has no desire for worldly things and seeks only eternal and everlasting pleasures. After this, a pure and perfect love of God is achieved by virtue of the sound heart (qalb-e-saleem). All these bless- ings are received by way of inheritance through the discipleship of the Holy Prophet. Allah, the Most High, says so Himself: Say: If you love Allah, then follow me; Allah will love you. (3:31).

Distinguishing features of revelations and prophecies of saints

After this, Hazrat Mirza sets out four signs that distinguish the dreams and prophecies of saints:

  1. Overwhelmingly, the visions of saints are clear and are rarely unclear.
  2. In comparison with ordinary people, the revelations and prophecies of saints are so numerous that if a comparison is made, it will be akin to comparing the wealth of a king with that of a pauper.
  3. Truly momentous signs are manifested by them, the likes of which cannot be presented by others.
  4. Examples and indications of acceptance are found in their signs, and evidence of the love of God, and of Divine assistance can bediscerned in them, and it becomes plain that God desires to manifest the honor and closeness of these accepted people to the world through these signs, and desires to impress their dignity in the hearts of people.

Special signs of revelations from God

Next, Hazrat Mirza describes the distinguishing features of Divine communication so that a truth-seeker may be able to differentiate it from satanic messages. Hazrat Mirza observes:

Whoever receives a revelation that does not meet three qualities, and ascribes it to God, is risking his own destruction.

  1. The communication should not be opposed to or contending with the Quran. But this condition is not sufficient unless accompanied by the third condition below…
  2. The communication is received by a person who has achieved spiritual purification, and joined the comity of mortals who havebecome disengaged from worldly desires so that their carnal selves have perished. They have thereby attained nearness to God, and distanced themselves from Satan because a person hears the voice of only the one to whom he is near…
  3. The third sign of a true recipient of revelation from God is that the communication that he ascribes to God is borne testimony toby God’s repeated actions, i.e., so many signs are manifested in its support that a sound intellect will consider it impossible that in the presence of so many signs, it is still not a communication from God.

Presented his own revelations and prophecies as an example

After this, Hazrat Mirza has presented his own revelations in Arabic, Urdu and Persian by way of a sample. The revelations are mostly in Arabic. The revelations section occupies approximately 39 pages of the book Haqiqat-ul-Wahy. Following this, Hazrat Mirza catalogued more than 200 heavenly signs and prophecies that Allah had manifested at his hands.

Refutation of Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan’s misleading beliefs

In this book, Hazrat Mirza has especially refuted Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan’s misleading belief which propounded that salvation is possible with- out a belief in prophets and messengers and that besides a belief in God and the Day of Judgment, it was not necessary to accept the Quran or the Holy Prophet. 

Hazrat Mirza based his documentary arguments on verses and tra- ditions from the Quran,Books of Hadith and the consensus of opinion of the Muslim nation and proved convincingly that there was no salvation withoutfollowing the Holy Prophet. In order to enter into the brotherhood of Islam, it was necessary to believe in both parts of the confession of faith — the Kalimah Tayyabah. That is, it was necessary to believe in “Muhammad is the prophet of Allah” along with “There is no god but Allah.” Hazrat Mirza also presented exquisite and convincing rational arguments on this issue that are worth a read. It is not possible to present them here in their entirety, but an excerpt is presented below for the benefit of the reader.

Let it be remembered that it is only the prophets who give knowledge about the existence of God and teach the people that He isOne and has no associates. If these holy people had not come into the world, it would have been an impossible task to determine the straight path with any degree of certainty.

Although by reflecting on the structure, age and strength, of the heavens and earth, a person of sound mind and nature can discern that there must be a Creator of this intelligently constructed system. However, there isan enormous difference between the phrase “there must” be a Creator and the phrase “He indeed exists.” It is only prophets who provide the information that He indeed exists.They have proven through thousands of signs and miracles that the hidden and unseen Being Who is the source of all power does in fact exist.

The truth is that even the level of intelligence needed to bring about the real- ization that there must be a Creator bylooking at the organization of the heavens has benefited from the rays of prophethood… From the most ancient times dating back to the start of the world, the identification of God has been associated with the identification of prophets. So it is impossible todiscern the Unity of God without prophets. A prophet is a mirror through which the face of God can be seen.

When God wishes tomanifest Himself to the world, He sends forth prophets who are wit- nesses of His powers. He sends His revelation to them, and manifests through them His power of being the fosterer unto perfection and thus the world gets to know that God does exist.

Hence belief in people who are appointed under the ancient law of God as the means to identify the existence of God has necessarily become an element of belief in the Unity of God, and without it belief in Unity is incomplete. It is not pos- sible to attain an unadulterated belief in God’s Unity, without the heavenly signs and miracles that are manifested by prophets and thattake one to certain knowledge. This is the group that exhibits God, through whom God, whose existence is extremely subtle,hidden behind many veils, and never seen, is manifested. Since the beginning of time, this hidden treasure, Whose name is God, has been identified through the prophets. Otherwise, attainment of belief in God’s Unity — the kind that is practiced and thusqualifies as Unity in God’s eyes — without the medium of prophets is as much against rationality as it is against the experience ofreligious devotees. 

Some ignorant people, who think that belief in Unity is sufficient for salvation and that a belief in prophets is notnecessary, are really trying to sever the soul from the body. This idea is based on sheer ignorance. It is obvious that when true Unity isattain- able through the medium of prophets and is impossible without it, then how can it be achieved without a belief in prophets? And if prophets who are the roots of Unity are separated from the essential system of beliefs, then how can Unity survive? Thecause of Unity, the progenitor of Unity, the father of Unity, the fountainhead of Unity, the complete manifestation of Unity is onlythe prophet. It is through him that the hid- den visage of God is manifested and the existence of God is known.

So there is no doubt that the world obtains the treasure of the Unity and knowledge of God through the prophet. Without him it would be inaccessible. The finest example in this regard was shown by our Prophet. He raised a nation that was sitting on a dump of filth and took them to a garden of flowers and he placed before those whowere going to die from spiritual hunger and thirst the highest quality spiritual nutrition and sweet syrups.

They were savages and he made them humans. Then he transformed them from ordinary humans into civi- lized people, and from civilized people intoperfect persons. He manifested so many signs for them that he helped those people to see God, and he effected such a transformation in them that they veritably shook hands with the angels. No other prophet effected such a change in his nation because those in the ambit of their influence remained deficient.

I marvel at the magnificent status of this Arabian prophet whose name is Muhammad (thousands upon thousands of blessings and peace be upon him), but the truth is that it is not possible to con- ceive the greatness of his status, and the effect of his holiness is beyond human conception. It is a pity that his high status has not won the recognition that it deserves. When God’s Unity had become lost upon the world, he is the stalwart who brought it back into the world. He loved God to the highest degree possible, and his life was consumed with grief because of the compassion he felt for a fallen humanity. For this reason, God, Who was aware of the secret yearning in his heart made him excel over all prophets and all people in all ages and in all times, and granted him his heart’s desires during his lifetime. 

He is the fountainhead of all blessings. Anyone who claims a blessing without acknowledging a debt of gratitude to him is not from the humans but a progeny of Satan because the key of every blessing has been given to him and all the treasures of knowledge have been granted to him. He who does not receive through him suffers eternal deprivation. What are we and what is our reality! 

We would be ungrateful for the great bless- ing if we do not acknowledge that we received the doctrine of real Divine Unity throughthis Prophet and we gained the recognition of the living God through this perfect Prophet and through his spiritual light. The honor of communion with God that enables us to visualize His countenance is made available to us through this Holy Prophet. The ray from this brilliant sun of guidance falls upon us, and we can remain radiant in its glow only as long as we stand facing it.

Those people are actually unaware of the reality of Divine Unity who cling to the wrong notion that a person will receivesalvation even if he does not believe in the Holy Prophet or apostatizes, as long as he stands by Unity and considers God to be One without partners. It is totally false that such a person would suffer no loss by not believing in the Holy Prophet or apostatizingas is the faith of Abdul Hakim Khan.

I have written many times that even Satan considers God to be One and without a partner, but salvation cannot be achieved just byconsidering God to be One. Instead, salvation depends on two things:

  1. To believe with complete conviction in the existence and oneness of God.
  2. The existence of such perfect love of God in the heart that it com- pletely dominates a person’s being so that the supremacy of this love makes obedience to God the comfort of man’s soul without which he cannot survive. This love of God then tramples and anni- hilates the love of anything that rivals God. This is the real belief in Divine Unity that cannot be achieved but by following our master and leader – the Holy Prophet.

After this, Hazrat Mirza proves with forceful and cogent arguments why this true concept of Divine Unity is unattainable without obedience to the Holy Prophet. This discussion is worth perusing and is available in the original book.

Replies to objections

In this book Haqiqat-ul-WahyHazrat Mirza also responded to the objections raised by Dr. Abdul Hakim Khan and others.

Al-Istifta or Advice on a point of religious law

At the end of the book, Hazrat Mirza has appended an eighty-seven page Arabic document called Al-Istifta (Advice on a matter ofreligious law). After explaining his beliefs and claims with great clarity, Hazrat Mirza asked for a decree from the religious scholars and hereditary religious leaders, whether they certified to his genuineness or still insisted on falsifying and excommunicating him? In explaining his beliefs, Hazrat Mirza has also explained and elucidated the word “prophet” which appears both in his rev- elations andalso in reports of Hadith about the Promised Messiah. I consider it appropriate to reproduce two or three excerpts from it here. Hazrat Mirza asks the religious scholars for a decree about a person (i.e., himself) and writes:

And that person says: Allah has undoubtedly named me a prophet in His revelation. And similarly before that the Holy Prophetnamed me a prophet with his blessed tongue. But this prophethood means nothing more than a profusion of conversations with God and the receipt of an abundance of information from God about the unseen. And that man says: I do not considerprophethood here to mean the same as the meaning it has in the previous scriptures (i.e., the meaning of prophet- hood used here is not the same as the meaning taken in the Torah, Gospels, Quran etc. – Author). The meaning here is only a rank which is not given except by obedience to the HolyProphet.

As a footnote to the above message, Hazrat Mirza states:

Surely, God’s purport by my prophethood is nothing more than an abundance of communion and the occurrence of such dialogue is an established fact among the leaders of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (i.e., all the leaders of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat concede the continuance in the Muslim nation of communion with God – Author). So this dispute between the Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat and us is reduced to a mere lin- guistic dispute (otherwise in reality there is no difference). Therefore, O people of intelligence andenlightenment! Do not be hasty. If anyone claims even an iota contrary to the claim I have stated here, then may that person be accursed by God, the entire world, and the angels as well.

In another place in this Arabic Al-IstiftaHazrat Mirza states:

Undoubtedly, our Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the Seal of the prophets, and the chain of prophethood ended with him. So nobody has the right to claim separate prophethood after the Holy Prophet. After the Holy Prophet, nothing remains but an abundance of dialogue with God, and that too is made conditional on obedience to the Holy Prophet and cannot be achieved without obedi- ence to him. And I call Allah to bear witness that I did not attain this status without the light of obedience to the Holy Prophet. And Allah named me a prophet only in the metaphorical sense, and not in reality.

An announcement to the attention of Islamic scholars

While Haqiqat-ul-Wahy was published on May 15, 1907, Hazrat Mirza published an announcement on March 15, 1907 in whichhe addressed all the scholars of the Islamic community, as well as the religious aristocracy. The announcement stated: “We are about to publish the book Haqiqat-ul- Wahy. In this book, I have cast light on my claims and reasons thereof, and have included upwards of 200heavenly signs.

All the scholars of the Islamic community, as well as the religious aristocracy, are requested to judge me after reading this book.” Hazrat Mirza urged them by putting an oath on them three times to carefully read the book in its entirety. He also mentionedin the announcement that he would be sending free copies of the book to many scholars, and hoped that the rest would buy it ontheir own.

But if somebody was unable to afford it, then he should inform him and he would send the book free to him as well. Hazrat Mirza once againexhorted them in the name of God to read the book at least once. As for those who did not desist from maligning Hazrat Mirza after choosing not to read the book or after abandoning its reading before completion, Hazrat Mirza invoked God to thwart and abase themin this world and in the Hereafter.

An announcement to the attention of the Arya Samajists

After the announcement directed at the Islamic scholars, Hazrat Mirza followed up by publishing an announcement to the attention of the Arya Samajists. Pointing out the errors in their beliefs, Hazrat Mirza observed:

When every man is responsible for proving his own existence, then why is it that God cannot prove His existence? Is God even weaker than man, or is it that His Omnipotence has been left in the past and does not carry into the future? If He does not have the power to speak now, then what is the proof that He had this ability before? And if He cannot speak in these times then what is the proof that He can hear in these times and accept supplications? And if He manifested His powers of omnipotence during somepast period then why can He not manifest them now so that the atheists may be disproved?

So dear friends! Islam alone has presented the All-Powerful God that we all need. Islam presents the powers of God in exactly the same manner in which they were manifested in the past. Remember and remember it well, that no person can believe in Godwithout seeing the manifestation of His Powers and His shining signs. Those who say: We believe in Parmeshwar (concept of the Supreme Being in Hinduism), are merely narrating a fable. God’s existence is proven by His signs; if there are no signs then there is no God. For this reason, I have written the book Haqiqat-ul-Wahy as a sample, purely out of compassion. I ask you in the name of Parmeshwar, in whom you confess faith according to your statements, to read this book from the start to the finish andcontemplate on the signs that are included therein. Then if you do not find the like of it in your religion, leave that faith out of thefear of God and accept Islam. What good is the religion, and what shall it benefit you, if it does not guide you to the Living God by showing you living signs?

Hazrat Mirza then exhorted the Arya Samajists thrice in the name of Parmeshwar to read the book, to investigate the truth, and to come to the path of righteousness.

Dawat-e-Haq — an announcement to the attention of the Christian people and clergy

Along with the aforementioned announcement, Hazrat Mirza also pub- lished an announcement titled Dawat-e-Haq (Invitation to the Truth) on March 20, 1907, in which he preached to the Christian clergy and the Christian populace. He urged the Christianclergy and their followers to read Haqiqat-ul-Wahy and he put them under an oath to do so in a manner akin to the one he had employed with the Arya Samajists. In pointing out to the Christians the inaccuracies and errors of their faith and inviting them to Islam, he states:

I am not stating these things by myself, but that God Who is the Creator of the heaven and the earth manifested Himself to me and appointed me as the Promised Messiah for these end times. He told me that the truth is that Jesus son of Mary is neither God nor son of God. And He spoke to me and told me that the Prophet who presented the Quran and beckoned the people to Islam is atrue Prophet, and that sal- vation lies under his feet.

It is impossible for anyone to gain spiritual light except through his obedience. When my God manifested to me the prestige, honor and magnificence of this Prophet, I began to shiver and my body started trembling. In the case of Jesus, the Messiah, people exceeded all limits in his praise and went to the extent of making him into God, but in an opposite direction, people did not fully realize the greatness of this Prophet in a way that it deserved to be recognized. People are still unaware of his magnificence. He is the sole Prophet who planted the seed of Divine Unity in a way that it has not perished to this day. He is the prophet who appeared at a time when the entire world had gone astray. When he departed from this world, he left behind a world in which the Unity of God had spread like an overflow- ing ocean.

He is the only Prophet for whom God has been manifesting His sense of honor in every age and has been exhibiting thousands of miracles2 in his support and as evidence of his truthfulness. In the pres- ent age as well, this Holy Prophet has been much maligned and God’ssense of honor has been provoked, and provoked as never before, and He sent me as the Promised Messiah so that I may give evidence about his prophethood to the whole world. If I make this claim without evidence then I am a liar. But God gives testimony on my behalf with His signs in a manner the like of which cannot be found in these times, anywhere from the east to the west and from the north to the south. The dictates of justice and piety, thereforedemand that I should be accepted along with my teachings.

Footnotes

  1. When clouds encircle the sun and atmospheric dust creates a haze, the sunlight does not fall brightly on the earth. Similarly, when the soul is shrouded in its own darkness and is overwhelmed by Satan, the light of the spiritual sun will not fall clearly on the soul. As the haze and the clouds dissipate, the light will continue to brighten. The same philosophy applies to Divine revelation. The clearest revelation is received by those whose hearts are clear, and there is no barrier between them and God. It should also be remembered that revelation which is accompanied by Divine assistance and which has clear signs of honor, distinction, and acceptance, can only be granted to those who are acceptable to God. It is out of the power of Satan to support and assist a false claimant and to provide him with a modicum of dignity by revealing to him anything that manifests Divine power such as a miracle or clear prophecy.(Footnote in original book).
  2. In April of 1907, Hazrat Mirza mentioned the following while lecturing on the miracles of the Holy Prophet: The Holy Prophet’s miracle that was greater than the millions of his other miracles was that he fulfilled the purpose of the mission for which he came. This is such an unprecedented success that its like is not found in its fullest sense in the life of any other prophet. For example, Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) died on the way, and the success of Jesus is evident from the manner in which his disciples treated him. It is only the Holy Prophet who had the singular honor to see before he departed from this world the full splendor of the promise that is inherent in the following Quranic verse: “And thou seest men entering the religion of Allah in companies” (110:2).
  3. The second miracle of the Holy Prophet is the transformation of morals. The Arabs were a people even worse than quadrupeds: “They are but as thecattle; nay, they are farther astray from the path” (25:44). They became a people who spent their nights in prayers: “And they who pass the night prostrating themselves before their Lord and standing” (25:64).
  4. The Holy Prophet’s third miracle is his eternal spiritual blessings. The fountains of spiritual blessings of other prophets have run dry but the fountain of the Holy Prophet’s spiritual blessings will run eternally. Accordingly, having drunk from that fountain, the Promised Messiah has appeared in thisnation.
  5. The fourth thing that is uniquely special with the Holy Prophet is that the nation of no other prophet supplicates for him around the clock but the followers of the Holy Prophet are busy in prayer at all times in some part of the world and are supplicating: O Allah send your blessings onMuhammad. The results of this are becoming evident in the form of spiritual blessings. Accordingly, among these blessings is communion with Godthat has been given to this nation. (Badar, May 9, 1907)

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