Distinction Between the Respective Prayers
The preceding analysis reveals plainly the distinction between the respective prayers of the Holy Quran and the New Testament. Whereas the New Testament merely makes a promise regarding God’s kingdom, the Holy Quran teaches that the kingdom of God is present around you. Not only does that kingdom surround you, but it continues to confer its blessings on you. And whereas the New Testament simply contains a promise, the Holy Quran makes a promise and demonstrates the existence of God’s kingdom and its blessings. Similarly, the excellence and superiority of the Holy Quran is evident from the fact that it presents the God Who is—in this very life of the world—the solace and comfort of the believers. No soul is bereft of His blessings. Rather, every soul receives, in accordance with its capacity, the blessings accruing from God’s attributes of beneficence, mercy, and nurturing. In contrast, the New Testament presents a god whose kingdom hasn’t been established in the world yet; only a promise is made that it will one day arrive in the world. Human intelligence will surely suggest that it’s wise to choose the God presented by the Holy Quran —instead of the god presented by the New Testament—as worthy of obedience. With his inimitable perspicacity, the poet Hafiz Shirazi has aptly observed this distinction between mere promises and the fulfillment of those promises:
Hitherto, we had been given mere promises of clean spiritual drink and pure companions;
But all this changed when our religious leader (sheikh) helped fortify our faith in God.
A Discussion of Sublime Morals
The New Testament has eulogized the meek, the genial, and the poor. In particular, it is said in their praise that they never offer resistance. In contrast, the Holy Quran doesn’t teach that you should always remain meek and not offer resistance to evil. Instead, the Holy Quran teaches that meekness, amiability, and the shunning of resistance are recommended. But if these same virtuous qualities are practiced inappropriately, they will actually prove harmful. Therefore, the Holy Quran advises, you should analyze the circumstances and do good accordingly by way of the appropriate adoption, or otherwise, of these qualities; that virtue turns into a vice when it’s adopted against the advisability of the situation. For example, you are aware of the beneficial and crucial nature of rainfall. But if a downpour takes place under the wrong circumstances, it can easily prove disastrous. Similarly, adopting a diet that consists of the continual use of cold foods alone, to the exclusion of all warm foods, or vice versa, will likely not be conducive to the upkeep of good health. Good health can be maintained only through judicious variation of the foods and drinks in your diet. Likewise, the various pairs of analogous qualities—sternness and mildness, revenge and forgiveness, prayers and maledictions, etc.—all require judicious practice according to the advisability of the situation. Thus, you ought to be courteous and affable to the highest degree, but don’t adopt these qualities under the wrong circumstances.
Remember that sublime morals—those that are untainted by the toxic admixture of lower human desires and ulterior motives—are obtained only through the heavens with the assistance of Gabriel. More specifically, you cannot attain sublime morals through your efforts alone; such morals are granted from the heavens. Every man who doesn’t receive a portion of these morals through the agency of Gabriel is untrue in his claims of possessing great morals. In reality, such a man can be likened to a reservoir of clear water that has much mud and dung at its bottom; during times of inflamed passions, the filthy, sunken sediments rise and muddy the clear water. So you should seek God’s assistance at all times that He may rid you of this mud and dung after which spiritual purity and moral elegance may burgeon within your soul.
Also remember that sublime morals are a miracle of righteous men. Others do not have a share in them; those others aren’t engrossed in God’s remembrance and so they don’t receive spiritual strength from the heavens. That is why it’s impossible for them to acquire sublime morals. As such, you should try hard to establish a profound and genuine relationship with your God, and shun all vices including the evils of malice, mockery, profanity, greed, lying, decadence, self-indulgence, depravity, materialism, arrogance, conceit, waywardness, and quibbling. You will subsequently receive all that you’ve been promised from the heavens. Until the time that that heavenly force—which will pull you toward the heavens—becomes engaged in assisting you, and unless your soul is permeated by the spirituality-reviving agency of Gabriel, you remain spiritually frail, veritably languishing in the dark. Rather, you could be likened to the corpse from which all traces of life have drained away. Moreover, in such a state, neither can you put up resistance during times of moral ordeals nor can you save yourself from conceit during times of prosperity and affluence. In summary, while you’re in this state, the devil dominates all aspects of your soul. So the remedy for your moral infirmness is only one: that Gabriel—who alights in the world when especially directed by God—should steer you toward piety and righteousness. So become the sons of the heavens, the sons of the world, and the inheritors of spiritual light. Don’t get enamored with the darkness of vice. And you will succeed in gaining sanctuary from the devil’s trespassing, because the devil always lingers in the wickedness of dreary darkness; the devil is an inveterate thief that treads in the somber gloom of wickedness.
Tremendous Prophecy in Al-Fatihah
The Quranic chapter Al-Fatihah doesn’t consist of teachings alone; it also contains a tremendous prophecy. Indeed, God has enumerated some of His attributes at the outset of Al-Fatihah: God is Nurturing, Beneficent, Merciful, and the Master of the Day of Requital. Thus, having expressed these attributes associated with His power, God has taught a prayer to man. Through that prayer, man should beseech God to make him the inheritor of previous prophets and messengers; that God should guide him on their path; that He should bless him with their blessings; and that God should save him, man, from becoming a member of the nation upon which God brought down wrath in the world. And it were the Jews—those who lived during the time of Jesus—who were made to perish right here in the world through the affliction of a plague. Similarly, God has taught man to entreat Him to be saved from the fate of becoming one of those who grew bereft of God’s guidance, and which goes astray—the Christians.
So the prophecy that’s latent in this prayer is that some among the Muslims will become the inheritors of previous prophets and messengers because of their outstanding sincerity and dedication; they’ll receive the blessings associated with prophethood and messengership; also, some will become like the Jews who were engulfed by tribulation and torment right here in the world; and some will dress themselves up in the garb of Christianity. Keep in mind that it’s a permanent tradition of God wherefore some people among a nation will necessarily disobey God’s instruction when directed by God to follow that instruction; and some among that nation will conduct themselves piously and honorably.
It is God’s tradition too—illustrated by all the revealed books which God has sent into the world from time immemorial—that when God forbids a nation from certain deeds, or alternatively, when God encourages a nation to carry out certain deeds, some will obey God while others will disobey Him. Accordingly, Al-Fatihah prophesies that a certain individual from among the Islamic nation (ummat) will appear and exhibit the qualities of previous prophets in a sterling manner. This prophecy, which is derived from the verse “The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors” of Al-Fatihah, will be fulfilled in a flawlessly and magnificently. And among the Islamic nation will appear those who will be similar to the Jews who were cursed by Jesus and who were subsequently overtaken by divine torment. Such people will appear in the Islamic nation so that the prophecy derived from a segment of a verse (“Not those upon whom wrath is brought down…”) of Al-Fatihah is fulfilled. Likewise, among the Islamic nation will appear people who will be similar to the Christians—and who, in fact, will become Christians—who became bereft of God’s guidance because of their evil ways: They resorted to alcoholic intoxication, various transgressions, and made forbidden things permissible for themselves. This will come to pass so that the prophecy derived from the complementing segment of that verse (“…nor those who go astray.”) of Al-Fatihah is fulfilled.
Fulfillment of that Prophecy
It is a part of popular Muslim belief that, during the world’s last era, thousands of Muslims will become similar to the Jews; this prophecy is, in fact, present in several places in the Holy Quran. Also, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that thousands of Muslims are growing akin to the Christians, and in fact converting to Christianity. Furthermore, many Muslims, who are actually Muslims only in name, prefer the Christian lifestyle: They call themselves Muslims, yet they view with derision the commandments regarding obligatory prayers, forbidden and permissible things, and fasting. Both these groups—those similar to the Jews and those similar to the Christians—are widespread in this country. In summary, you have now seen both these prophecies of Al-Fatihah get fulfilled. And you’ve seen how they’ve been fulfilled; you have witnessed with your own eyes the large numbers of Muslims who have either become like the Jews or else put on the garb of Christianity.
So it befits you to acknowledge the truth of the third prophecy: Just as Muslims were plagued by the immoral ways of Christians and Jews because they became like these respective nations, so too was it the right of the Muslims that some of them should partake of the spiritually-elevated status of the holy persons belonging to the Israelites from a previous era. Otherwise, asserting that the Islamic nation would not receive any portion of the spirituality of the Israelite prophets and messengers, even though the Islamic nation has partaken a portion of the evil ways of Christians and Jews—to the mortifying extent that such Muslims have been referred to as Jews—would be tantamount to casting suspicions at God.
Moreover, such an assertion would suggest that the Islamic nation is the worst of nations, instead of being the best of nations: It exhibits examples of every sort of vice but not of virtue! As such, isn’t it imperative that a person should arise from this nation in the coloration of prophets and messengers, and who should be the inheritor and reflection (zill) of the entire series of Israelite prophets? It is inconceivable, in fact, that God’s mercy wouldn’t allow for the appointment of even a single person in the Islamic nation as the inheritor and recipient of the blessings of previous prophets. It’s implausible that God wouldn’t raise such a person, given the fact that God has created thousands of Muslims who have become like the Jews, and thousands more who have put on the clothes of Christianity. After all, it is only through such an appointment that His prophecy inherent in a verse (“The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors.”) of Al-Fatihah will be fulfilled, just as the other two prophecies in Al-Fatihah have been borne out by events. More specifically, the Islamic nation has now been branded with thousands of disgraceful labels. And, as is provable from the Holy Quran and Hadith, it was this nation’s fate that its members would become like the Jews. Given these circumstances, it was unquestionably in keeping with the tradition of God’s blessings that He should have made some members of the Islamic nation the inheritors of virtue, just as He made the Christians in particular the inheritors of vices. Hence, God has given the glad tidings through this verse (“Guide us on the right path.”) of Al-Fatihah that certain members of the Islamic nation will receive the blessings of previous prophets—the members of this nation will not solely be like the Jews or Christians, partaking of all their vices but none of their virtues.
The Quranic chapter Al-Tahrim too contains a reference to this subject. It is stated in Al-Tahrim that certain persons from among the Islamic nation will have the likeness of Mary, the eminently virtuous mother of Jesus. Now, Mary had embraced chasteness. Subsequently, the spirit of Jesus was infused into her womb. As a result, Jesus was born. This Quranic chapter, Al-Tahrim, also contains an indication regarding a certain individual of the Islamic nation: He will first receive the spiritual status of Mary, then the spirit of Jesus will infused into him, and finally the spiritual Jesus will be born unto this spiritual Mary. In other words, this individual will undergo a spiritual metamorphosis that will be marked by the passage from Mary-like qualities to Jesus-like qualities—the condition of being Mary-like will give birth to the state of being Jesus-like. It is thereby that this individual will be called the son of Mary. It is recorded in my book Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya that I will first be called Mary; there is, for instance, a divine revelation recorded in the same book (p. 241) that indicates this fact:
… O Mary, whence comes this to thee? … (Al-Imran, Ch:3, Verse:36)
Similarly, another divine revelation that I received, which is also recorded in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya (p. 226), indicates much the same:
O Mary, shake the trunk of the palm-tree.
Yet another divine revelation, also recorded in the same book (p. 496), is the following:
O Mary, enter Heaven along with your friends. We have inspired you with the Spirit of Truth.
By way of this revelation, God has given the name “Spirit of Truth” (Ruh-al-Sidq) to me. This revelation is parallel to the following:
And Mary, the daughter of Amran, who guarded her chastity, so We breathed into him Our inspiration, and she accepted the truth of the words of her Lord and His Books, and she was of the obedient ones. (Al-Tahrim, Ch:66, Verse:12)
In this particular instance, it’s in the metaphorical sense that the spirit of Jesus—whose name is presently “Spirit-of-Truth”—was infused into the womb of the spirit of Mary. Finally, I received the following divine revelation, also recorded in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya (p. 556), concerning the birth of the Jesus who was in Mary’s womb:
O Jesus, I will cause thee to die and exalt thee in My presence and make those who follow thee above those who disbelieve to the day of Resurrection.
In the preceding revelation, I’ve been called Jesus. It’s evident from this revelation that the Jesus whose infusion into Mary’s womb was confirmed by a previous revelation, recorded in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya (p. 496), has now been born. And it was in this context that I was called the son of Mary: My Jesus-like state came into existence when God inspired my Mary-like state. For a review of this testimonial, I refer you to a perusal of Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya (pp. 496, 556).
And, by way of presenting the preceding episode as a prophecy, the Quranic chapter Al-Tahrim has furnished a remarkably clear explanation of how Jesus, son of Mary, will be born into the Islamic nation: First, a certain individual of the Islamic nation will be made Mary-like. Then the spirit of Jesus will be infused into the womb of the Mary-like individual. He will mature for a while in the womb of the Mary-like state. Finally, he will be born into the world in a Jesus-like state. That’s why this individual will be called Jesus, son of Mary.
So this is the news, revealed 1300 years ago, and contained in the Quranic chapter Al-Tahrim regarding the Jesus, son of Mary, who would be born into the Islamic nation—I, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Moreover, God Himself provided the explanation of these verses from Al-Tahrim and which I recorded in my book Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya. The Holy Quran is the unquestionable Word of God. As such, what I ask of you is to place the Holy Quran and Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya side by side and decide with justice, intelligence, and piety whether the prophecy contained in Al-Tahrim—that a member of this nation too will be called Mary, that he will metamorphose from being Mary into being Jesus, and it is thus that he will be born—has been fulfilled through the divine revelations recorded in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya. Could this be the handiwork of man? Do you think it’s conceivable that I was present at the time when the Holy Quran was being revealed? And was it in my authority to have requested at that time that some Quranic verse ought to be revealed too, regarding my being made the son of Mary, thereby exonerating me from your objections about my claim that I’m the son of Mary? Besides, do you think that, 20 years ago, I had somehow contrived these divine revelations—wherefore, first, I would claim that the name Mary had been given to me and, second, that the spirit of Jesus had been infused into me, just as it had been in Mary’s time—out of thin air, by way of slander? Finally, do you think it’s plausible that I somehow divined the knowledge, recorded as it is in my work Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya (p. 556), that I had metamorphosed from being Mary into being Jesus?
My dear friends, I urge you to reflect on this matter and to fear God! I emphasize that it’s simply impossible that this could be the work of man; this is truly part of the subtle wisdom that is beyond human conjecture and comprehension. If I had actually been aware of this scheme of things back at the time when Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya was being compiled—and a long period of time has elapsed since then—why would I have stated therein that Jesus, son of Mary, would return to the world?
Proof of my Blamelessness
However, God knew that making me aware of the incorrectness of the notion of Jesus’ physical return to the world would irrevocably damage the argument for the case that I had presented in light of the aforementioned divine revelations. Hence, in the third volume of my book Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya, God gave to me the name Mary. Then, as is evident from Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya, I received spiritual nurturance for two years in my spiritual state of being like Mary; and I continued to receive spiritual nurturance in seclusion. When two years had passed, and as is evident from the fourth volume of Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya (p. 496), the spirit of Jesus was infused into the womb of my Mary-like spiritual state; and I was declared pregnant in the metaphorical sense. Finally, after the passage of several months, which doesn’t exceed a span of nine months, God brought about in me a spiritual metamorphosis—by way of the divine revelation that’s recorded in the fourth volume (p. 556) of Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya—that was marked by the transition from my Mary-like state to my Jesus-like state. Thus, I was made the son of Mary. And God did not make me aware of this latent plan at the time when Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya was being compiled, even though He granted me all those divine revelations associated with this latent divine plan; and I dutifully recorded those revelations, of course, in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya.
At that time, however, God didn’t make me aware of their significance and arrangement. So I went ahead and stated in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya the belief, which is widespread among Muslims, that Jesus will return physically to the world. This preceding fact would later serve to testify to my innocence in this matter and to vindicate me of the accusations that I intended to perpetrate fraud or deception. Thus, my statement in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya (of the customary notion that Jesus will return physically to the world), which was based on commonly accepted custom and not on a divine revelation, cannot be called into question. After all, I don’t claim to possess knowledge of unseen affairs except to the extent that God Himself grants me awareness of such hidden spiritual affairs. So the fact that I wasn’t granted an understanding of certain hidden divine affairs of wisdom—even though they were recorded dutifully in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya as the revelations that they were, and which God had granted to me—was in perfect agreement with divine wisdom.
But when the time arrived, God indeed granted me an understanding of those hidden divine affairs. It was then that I realized that there wasn’t anything novel about my claim to being the Promised Messiah; this was in fact the same claim that I had stated in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya, repeatedly and with clarity. At this juncture, I’d like to mention another revelation that I had received from God. I don’t recall whether I have published this particular revelation in one of my magazines or proclamations. But I do remember distinctly that I had related it to hundreds of people, and it is part of my diary of divine revelations. This dates back to the time when God first conferred on me the honorary name Mary and subsequently granted me the divine revelation concerning the infusion. Then I received the following divine revelation:
And the throes of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a palm-tree. She said: Oh, would that I had died before this, and had been a thing quite forgotten. (al-Maryam, Ch:19, Verse:23)
The preceding revelation refers to the incident in which Mary had to deal with the ignorant people in the populace as well as the scholars who were bereft of the fruit of faith. They ridiculed her and called her an unbeliever; they cursed her endlessly and raised a storm of torment. It was then that Mary expressed her wish that it would’ve been better if she had died prior to that experience; that not even a trace of her should have existed such that those people wouldn’t have been able to torment her.
And in the context of the preceding revelation, the storm of torment is a reference to the tempest that was raised collectively by my opponents, the maulvis (religious clerics), who could not tolerate my claim that God had appointed me as the Promised Messiah. They sought to defeat and devastate me through every ploy and strategy that they could devise. God has sketched a depiction—by way of a reference to the storm of torment that was raised by Mary’s oppressors—of the agony that I felt and the anguish that I endured during my perturbed state of mind which was created by the maulvis. In fact, I received other divine revelations regarding this matter. For example:
… thou hast indeed brought a strange thing! … thy father was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother an unchaste woman! (Al-Maryam, Ch:19, Verses:27, 28).
Then another divine revelation, which is recorded in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya (p. 521), is this:
Is not Allah sufficient for His servant? …” (Al-Zumar, Ch:39, Verse:36) “… and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter decreed… A statement of truth about which they dispute. (Al-Maryam, Ch:53, Verse:28, 34)
I refer you to Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya13 (p. 516, ll. 12-13). So this divine affair was ordained from the outset and that’s how it was to take place. Keep in mind that it is Jesus, son of Mary, regarding whom people are in doubt. But these are the words of truth. They are recorded in Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya. And this divine revelation is in fact comprised of the Quranic verses relating to Jesus and his mother, Mary. Allah says in these verses that He will make Jesus—whom people had accused of being an illegitimate child—one of His signs. This is the Jesus whose advent was anticipated; it is I who is referred to in these divine revelations that mention Jesus and Mary; and it is I regarding whom God has said that He will make me one of His signs. God has again said that I am Jesus, son of Mary, who was to return to the world and regarding whom the people are in doubt. This is the truth, and I am the one who was to appear in the world. I add that the harboring of any suspicions in this matter can only be ascribed to the unfamiliarity and lack of insight of those who don’t understand subtle divine affairs of wisdom—they are absorbed in trivial pursuits, and their eyes are unable to see the vital reality.
Advent of the Promised Messiah
Remember too that among the great aims of Al-Fatihah is the goal that is sought through the following prayer: “Guide us on the right path. The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors”. Whereas it’s taught in the New Testament to pray for the daily bread, Al-Fatihah teaches man to pray to God for all those blessings that were bestowed upon previous prophets and messengers. This comparison is quite remarkable. Thus, just as Jesus’ prayer was accepted whereby Christians have achieved enormous material gains, this prayer, Al-Fatihah, was accepted through Prophet Muhammad so that righteous and saintly Muslims—especially the dedicated and devout among them—were made the spiritual inheritors and beneficiaries of the Israelite prophets. And the fact that this Promised Messiah (I, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) was raised from the Islamic nation (ummat) is actually a result of the acceptance of this prayer. A countless number of righteous and saintly Muslims, though they’ve remained inconspicuous in the public scene, have been blessed with their share of spiritual resemblance to the Israelite prophets.
But the advent of this Promised Messiah was manifest and eminently public, and it took place in the present era in accordance with God’s will. This Promised Messiah was compared with the Israelite Messiah so that the resemblance between Prophet Muhammad’s nation and Moses’ nation should be understood. It is to this end that this Promised Messiah has been compared with Jesus, the Israelite Messiah, in every aspect.
Moreover, this comparison is so remarkably complete that even the tribulations that beset the Promised Messiah of the Islamic nation are like those that had beleaguered Jesus. First, just as God created Jesus, son of Mary, through divine infusion, this Promised Messiah too was brought into the world through divine infusion, in accordance with the promise of the Quranic chapter Al-Tahrim. And, just as a storm of opposition was raised by ignorant opponents, following the birth of Jesus, son of Mary—they had told Mary that “… thou hast indeed brought a strange thing! … thy father was not a wicked man, nor was thy mother an unchaste woman!” (Al-Maryam, Ch:19, Verses:27, 28)—the opponents of this Promised Messiah too fomented a tempest of hostility and unruliness. Furthermore, God had said the following in reference to the opponents who had conducted themselves with rank unruliness at the time when Mary’s pregnancy had become evident:
… and that We may make him a sign to men and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter decreed… A statement of truth about which they dispute. (Al-Maryam, Ch:53, Verses:28, 34).
Likewise, God gave the same answer—which was in the metaphorical sense and is recorded in my book Baraheen-e-Ahmadiyya—to my opponents at the time of my spiritual pregnancy. God thereby informed my opponents that they would be unable to defeat me through their ploys and strategies; that God would make me a sign of His mercy. Thus, the occurrence of this was predestined.
Recall too the time when Jewish scholars had made the allegation that Jesus was an unbeliever. In fact, a malicious Jewish scholar had prepared a formal decree of unbelief against Jesus. Other Jewish scholars had then joined the effort, supporting the decree to the extent that hundreds of learned Jewish intellectuals from Bait-ul-Muqaddas, the holy city of Jerusalem, had milled around and given the verdict that Jesus was an unbeliever14. Once again, my circumstances were very similar to the aforesaid description. Likewise, once the decree of unbelief against Jesus had been adopted by the Jews, Jesus was greatly tormented; he was subjected to nasty maledictions; and he was slandered and satirized in books. As for myself, after the opponents had given the verdict that I was an unbeliever, I found myself in a similar plight.
Today, 1800 years after Jesus, the same Jesus has evidently been reborn, and the same Jews have been reborn as well.
Implications of Another Prophecy
Alas, God had already taught the implication of the prophecy in that prayer (“Not those upon whom wrath is brought down”) of Al-Fatihah, but my opponents did not desist from their actions until they themselves became of “those upon whom wrath is brought down”! With His own hand, God laid one brick of the foundation for this astonishing similarity—between this Promised Messiah and the Israelite Messiah—by appointing me as the Messiah of Islam, exactly at the beginning of the fourteenth century Hijrah (according to the Islamic calendar), just as Jesus, son of Mary, had been appointed at the beginning of the fourteenth century.
And God is manifesting His tremendous signs to testify to my truthfulness. There is nobody under the skies—Muslim, Jew, Christian, or other—who can contest those signs. Man is a frail and lowly creature; how can he oppose God? Hence, this was the foundational brick from God. Anyone who attempts to uproot this brick will fail in doing so. Instead, the brick will fall on the person who tries to dislodge it; the brick will shatter him to pieces because God Himself has secured it with his own hand.
Fabricated Charge of Murder
My opponents have prepared and laid another brick in opposition; they have perpetrated such acts in opposing me as were committed by the Jews against Jesus. They have grown bitter in their opposition and gone so far as to fabricate the charge of premeditated murder against me!
God informed me about that impending lawsuit before the time of that tribulation actually arrived. And the character of the charge against me was more sinister than the charge that the Jews had filed against Jesus in the court of Pontius Pilate—whereas the charge against Jesus was based merely on a religious difference, the fabricated charge against me was that of committing a premeditated murder. This lawsuit was filed by Priest Henry Martin Clark in the legal court of Mr. Douglas. And, just as Jewish religious clerics had testified against Jesus, it was to be expected—predictably in keeping with the remarkable similarity between the Messiah of Islam and the Israelite Messiah—that some maulvi (religious cleric) would testify against me. So God selected Muhammad Hussain Batalvi for this assignment; attired in an oversized cloak, he appeared in the court of Mr. Douglas to serve as a witness against me. Just as the chief soothsayer had shown up to testify in the court in an attempt to get Jesus crucified, Muhammad Hussain Batalvi similarly appeared in the court to testify against me. The only difference between the two situations was this: In the case against Jesus, the chief soothsayer had been provided a seat in the court of Pontius Pilate, because a Jewish dignitary was to be provided a seat in any official proceeding held within the Roman Government’ jurisdiction. In fact, some Jews even held positions of honorary magistrates. Therefore, that chief soothsayer received a seat in accordance with sanctioned rules whereas Jesus had to remain standing like a criminal in front of the court.
In the proceedings against me, Mr. Douglas was the judge, just as Pontius Pilate had been the judge in the proceedings against Jesus. But this judge, Mr. Douglas, demonstrated better manners than Pontius Pilate—contrary to the wishes of my enemies, he offered me a seat, thereby dashing their hopes of seeing my disgrace in the courtroom.
Continuing thus, Mr. Douglas officiated the court proceedings with courage and steadfastness. He disregarded the lobbying against me from other offices of power. Even nationalistic and religious considerations—after all, he was a Briton and a Christian—didn’t interfere with his evenhanded conduct in the court. By maintaining fully his unprejudiced conduct under those difficult circumstances, Mr. Douglas provided a model of excellence for the judiciary. His praiseworthy character can be regarded as the pride of the realm and an exemplar for other officials to emulate.
Keep in mind that serving as an arbiter in the judicial system is an exacting task; unless the arbiter detaches himself wholly from all affiliations—nationalistic, religious, sentimental, and otherwise—prior to seating himself in the court-seat, he will be unable to dispense justice fairly. But I bear witness to the fact that Mr. Douglas fulfilled his judicial duties admirably. Now, Pontius Pilate, who was a Roman, had been unable to execute his duties commendably. His cowardly conduct in the court, in fact, had placed Jesus in severe difficulties. With these facts in mind, I counsel my religious organization that this distinction is worthy of remembrance till the day the world ceases to exist. And, as this organization grows—from hundreds of thousand to millions—the commemoration of this good-intentioned judge, Mr. Douglas, should remain alive. It’s his good fortune that God selected him for that task.
A little reflection will reveal that the duties of this officiating judge, Mr. Douglas, were highly demanding indeed, especially under the given circumstances: Two legal parties appeared in his court for redress; one of them was his co-religionist, and in fact a missionary, while the second party was an opponent of his religion; and he had been told that the second party was an inveterate adversary of his religion. Still, this courageous judge endured the test of his judicial duties with great steadfastness. Thus, the opponents showed him extracts from my written works where references to Christianity could’ve been misconstrued—because of a lack of familiarity—as insensitive and harsh. So the opponents’ conspiracy was in full swing to persuade the judge to rule against me. But Mr. Douglas reviewed the matter with perfect calmness, and not even the slightest degree of perturbation was visible upon his face or in his demeanor; he had discerned the reality on the basis of his tolerant conscience. Hence, Mr. Douglas investigated the case with an open mind. So God granted him assistance; God impressed the reality of the matter upon his heart by way of revelation. This enabled him to perceive an approach to rendering an impartial decision. This realization, in fact, proved to be a source of elation for Mr. Douglas.
And it was out of fairness that he offered a seat to me, instead of to the plaintiff. When Muhammad Hussain Batalvi—who had appeared to testify against me, just as the chief soothsayer had shown up in the court of Pontius Pilate to testify against Jesus—saw me seated, he realized that his desire to watch my disgrace in the court would not be fulfilled. Then, thinking that the best alternative was to somehow obtain a seat, Muhammad Hussain Batalvi expressed his wish to be given a seat as well. But the judge scolded him and said sternly, “You and your father have never been given a seat in this court! And I have no directions to offer you a seat.” Now, this distinction too is worthy of reflection: Pontius Pilate had felt intimidated by the Jews, and so he had offered seats to certain Jewish dignitaries. On the other hand, he had kept Jesus—who had been presented before the court as a criminal—standing for the duration of the trial, even though he secretly wished for Jesus’ welfare.
In fact, Pontius Pilate was like a follower while his wife was actually one of Jesus’ most supportive disciples, and was well-known for her earnest support of Jesus. But Pontius Pilate’s fear of the Jews cowered him to the extent that he unjustly turned blameless Jesus over to them. It should be borne in mind too that the charge against Jesus consisted merely of some religious differences, unlike the grim charge of murder that had been brought against me. However, that man, Pontius Pilate, wasn’t strong of heart; during the court proceedings, he grew fearful when he was informed that a complaint against him would be registered with the king, Caesar, if his court ruling was unfavorable to the Jews.
Further Similarity Between the Two Judges
Now, there is yet another similarity between Pontius Pilate and Mr. Douglas that’s worth remembering: When Jesus was presented in his court, Pontius Pilate had told the Jews that he didn’t see any wrongdoing on Jesus’ part. Similarly, when this Last Messiah—the Messiah of Islam—was presented in court, and he had requested Mr. Douglas for the respite of a few days so that a defense could be prepared against the serious charge of murder, Mr. Douglas had told the Messiah of Islam that he didn’t accuse him of anything. Observe the remarkable similarity between the statements of the respective judges—one from the era of the Israelite Messiah and the other from the era of the Messiah of 4. TEACHINGS: PART THREE 72
Islam. If there’s any difference, it is this: The judge hailing from the earlier era was unable to abide by his statement while the judge hailing from this the latter era stood by his remarks. Hence, when Pontius Pilate was informed that a complaint against him would be registered with the king, Caesar, if his court ruling was unfavorable to the Jews, Pontius Pilate had grown fearful and he had repudiated his earlier statement by willfully turning innocent Jesus over to the murderous Jews.
It should be noted, though, that both Pontius Pilate and his wife had felt downcast by the act of turning Jesus over to the Jews. They were greatly saddened, because both believed strongly in Jesus’ righteousness. Nevertheless, the pressure from the infuriated Jews had cowered Pontius Pilate into committing that unwarranted deed. Still, unbeknownst to others, he tried hard to rescue Jesus from being crucified, and in fact succeeded in his effort, though, admittedly, Jesus was impaled and underwent excruciating pain—whereby he grew unconscious—that could be considered equivalent to death. But Jesus’ life was saved through the effort of Pontius Pilate; Jesus’ prayers for his rescue had already been accepted by God. I refer you to the biblical chapter titled Hebrews15.
Following this episode of the crucifixion, Jesus succeeded in covertly fleeing from that land, ultimately finding refuge in Kashmir, India. And it was in Kashmir that he died; I’ve previously mentioned that Jesus lies buried in Mohallah Khan Yar in Kashmir. This is a result of the effort of Pontius Pilate.
Nonetheless, Pontius Pilate’s actions were stained by cowardice. If he had only stood by his word—that he didn’t see any wrongdoing on Jesus’ part—freeing Jesus would not have posed a problem for him. And he had complete power to free Jesus. But he had grown fearful upon being informed by the Jews that they would convey their grievance to the king, Caesar. On the other hand, this sovereign kingdom—British rule in India—is vastly superior to the Roman sovereignty. Thus, under British rule, it was impossible for anyone to coerce a judge into abandoning the proper dispensation of justice. The schemes that were plotted by the adversaries of the Messiah of Islam, and the bitter clamor that they incited, though, were altogether reminiscent of the deeds of their counterparts hailing from the times of the Israelite Messiah. Moreover, all my antagonists had gathered in the court, along with the leaders of various religions. But the Pontius Pilate of this era, Mr. Douglas, demonstrated his reverence for the truth. And he adhered to the remark—that he didn’t accuse me of the charge of murder—which he made in addressing me. So this judge, Mr. Douglas, exonerated me with great evenhandedness and valor. Whereas Pontius Pilate had resorted to various ploys, this judge fulfilled admirably the duties of his office, and his conduct remained scrupulously untainted by any sort of cowardice. On the day that I was vindicated by the court, a thief was also presented before the court. This event came to pass because—once again, predictably in keeping with the remarkable similarity between the Messiah of Islam and the Israelite Messiah—along with Jesus, a thief had been presented too before the court of law. The difference between these two parallels is that the thief who was presented in court, along with this Last Messiah, didn’t receive the same treatment that was given to the thief who appeared in court, along with the Israelite Messiah. Whereas the bones of that thief from the earlier era were broken and he was crucified, the thief who appeared in court, along with this Last Messiah, received a punishment of merely a three-month imprisonment.