Reasons for writing The Messianic Brook (Chashma-e-Masihi)
Hazrat Mirza published the book The Messianic Brook (Chashma-e- Masihi) on March 9, 1906. It was a response to the book The Fountains of Islam (Yenabeh-al-Islam) published by the Christians.
The motivation for writing the book came from a letter written to Hazrat Mirza by a Muslim from the town of Bans Bareilly in the United Provinces (UP) of India. The writer opined that after reading The Fountains of Islam, he had begun to harbor doubts about the veracity of Islam, and then went on to expound the nature of those doubts.
In response Hazrat Mirza wrote a small book titled The Messianic Brook (Chashma-e-Masihi). While the book is small inlength, in reality it is as if an ocean of knowledge has been encapsulated in a seashell. Hazrat Mirza opened with the following passage:
Assalam alaikum (Peace be upon you.) It is with great sadness that I read your letter written after you had read the book, The Fountains of Islam (Yenabeh-al-Islam) authored by a Christian. I am amazed that the fabricated and distorted representation of Islam by a nation whose god is dead, whose religion is dead, whose scripture is dead, and who are themselves dead due to theabsence of spiritual insight made you waiver. Inna Lillahi wa inna ilaihi raji-un (Surely we are Allah’s and to Him we shall return).
You should remember that these are the same people who not only corrupted the Divine books, but also exceeded every othernation in fabricated and deceitful writings in order to promote their own religion. Because these people are devoid of the spiritual light that descends from heaven to support the truth and which, by providing repeated evidence, grants a clear excellence to a truereligion, these peo- ple had no option but to resort to slander, deceit, fraud, and fabrication of fictitious and artificial statements in order to create disgust in people against the living religion of Islam …
These people have exceeded even the enchanters who madesnakes out of cords in the presence of Prophet Moses, but since Moses was a prophet of God, his staff swallowed all those snakes. In a like manner, the Quran is the staff of Godand is daily swallowing up these serpents of cord. That day is coming, and in fact is near, when no vestige of these snakes will remain behind.
Subject matter of the book
Following the preceding observation, Hazrat Mirza completely demolished the objections raised in The Fountains of Islam (Yenabeh-al-Islam).
He then charged that the teachings of the Gospels were plagiarized from the Jewish Talmud, and the scriptures of Buddhism and other religions. He explained that even these plagiarized teachings are defective in that they emphasize only a singlebranch of morals and neglect the other branches. This in itself is a major flaw.
In contrast, Hazrat Mirza proved the completeness ofIslamic teachings with reasonable and rational arguments, and provided con- vincing evidence of the truth and superiority of Islamic teachings by a comparison of the teachings of Islam, Christianity and the Hindu Arya Samaj. Hazrat Mirza stated that true salvation doesnot merely mean the escape from punishment, but true salvation is in actuality the acquisition of the knowledge and love of God.
He then compared Christianity, Hindu Arya Samaj and Islam, and showed that no religion except Islam is an exponent of the true Unity of Godand presents the complete knowledge and comprehension of the perfect attributes of God. By presenting the real and living God, Islam hasthe unique distinction of showing the straight path to true salvation; by treading it a person can enjoy the fruits and blessings of truesalvation in any era.
Hazrat Mirza stated:
Because the God Who created this world is not miserly but is the granter of eternal blessings, … hence He awards to the later genera- tions, given piety and striving, what he awarded to the former generations. Accordingly, He Himself teaches in the Quran the follow- ing prayer: “Guide us on the right path. The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors” (1:5,6). Thesupplication in this verse is to bestow on us the same blessings and rewards that were bestowed pre- viously on prophets and the righteous, and not to deprive us of any of those blessings. This verse provides tremendous hope to the Muslim community, but followers of previous prophets do not have a share in it because different prophets had different areas of excellence and weredifferently rewarded and blessed. Now the Muslim nation has been taught to seek all these disparate excellences from God. It is obvious that when all these disparate excellences are gathered together in one place, their sum will be greater than any one of theparts. This was the basis for the statement: “You are the best nation raised up for men;” (3:110). That is, you are better than all other nations by virtue of your comprehensive excellences.
It is worth finding out why the Muslim nation was given the promise that the formerly disparate and dispersed excellences would be gathered together in it. The key here is that our Holy Prophet was the perfect amalgam of all excellences. As Allah the Most High states in the Quran: “… so follow their guidance” (6:90); that is, follow the guidance given to all previous prophets. So it is apparent that he who gathers in his person all of the disparate scattered guidance would become a complete being who would besuperior to all previous prophets. It must follow then that the person who follows this Prophet of comprehensive excellences would himself become a reflection of those comprehensive excellences. The secret in teaching this prayer in Surah Fatihah (Chapter The Opening) is that the entire nation who is the follower of the Prophet of comprehensive excellences should alsobecome comprehensively excellent. So woe to those who think that this nation is a dead nation; God teaches them (Muslims) to pray for comprehensive excellence but they want to remain dead…
It is amazing that these people (Muslims) at least accept that God, the Most High, listens even now like He used to in the past, but they do not accept that he speaks now as He used to speak in the past. Although if He does not speak now, then there is no proof that He hears now either. Though the book Chashma-e-Masihi is small, it is nevertheless a worthy contribution and a powerful weapon in the fight to crush falsehood.