[Maitawaliu Nayashi is a Hafizul Quran, a graduate of Islamic studies, and an emerging young commentator of the Quran whose weekly Tafsir al-Quran gathers considerable audience in Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria. Until about six months ago, he worked under me as a Tahfizul-Quran facilitator in the School of Tahfizul Quran which my humble person coordinates. The honour and respect he always accorded me throughout had very much inspired my heart with love for him in Allah, and I do hope this would be sustained, in shaa Allah.
However, on February 8th, 2020, he began to assume the duty of confronting Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) with an anti-Ahmadiyya post he pasted on his Facebook wall. As an Islamic Missionary, when it comes to matters of Islamic importance, one has no option than to prioritize objectivity over subjective considerations, for the sake of ensuring the supremacy of the substantial truth of Islam. As a result, I began to engage him with a challenge to him to provide original evidence that substantiates his assertions against Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as). The ensuing developments are what has necessitated this short piece.]
Well, it pleases, to begin with the note that, with his confession that: “I have done all my possible best,” but, “all my efforts” “in accessing some hardcopy books and other write-ups by your Spiritual Leader, Imam Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Al-Qaadiyani….proved abortive”, we would graciously spare Al-Hafiz Maitawaliu Nayashi the herculean task of scanning through the whole thousands of voluminous write-ups of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) in search of a reference that doesn’t even exist in the first instance! My friend seemed to have only engaged in a “copy and paste” exercise. Unfortunately, it turned out as a cheque issued without any cash in the bank account to be cashed! However, we have no option than to conclude that by this confession, he has implicitly conceded to the fact that his introduction of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as “the man who claimed to be the LAST PROPHET OF ALLAH,” was a sheer spurious, fabricated, overstated and libelous assertion intended to blatantly misrepresent and, ultimately, defame Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as).
Clearly, there are many grammatical and theological differences between the two statements: “I am a prophet of Allah” and “I am the last prophet of Allah.” We hope he would be kind to himself and his hailers to withdraw (both online and offline) his unfounded and unguarded assertion and seek forgiveness of Allah for defaming a Holy Personage who has passed on to the world beyond.
Importantly, however, by unrepentantly adding that: “But, note, no doubt, it is no longer news, that the Spiritual Leader of Ahmadi’s himself and all his followers, referred to Imam Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a Prophet and the Promised Messiah,” Mr. Maitawaliu is still very guilty of being apologetically economical with a truth that is quite substantial and whole! Honesty demands that he should have clearly added that “…and Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw), too, referred to the Promised Messiah as a prophet of Allah.” Now, I can guess he and the collective heart of the mainstream Muslims reading this line would probably be boiling with rage over this innocent truth! They probably would be reaffirming their fatwa: Wallahi, these Ahmadis are confirmed Kafirs; the “real” Muslims must not offer Salat (prayer) behind them, etc.!
Please be calm! Indeed we are here to calm you down with Quranic and Prophetic evidence, not merely with our human words. At the worst end, it may either be that you all would direct your rage against the Quran and the Holy Prophet (saw) or would submit to the superior authorities of the duo. Whichever one, we do hope that we, for the fact that we are only echoing the verdicts of the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophet (saw), should, at least, be spared of your rage and possible takfir (declaring Muslims to be non-Muslims!). Notwithstanding, Ahmadiyya cares less about mainstream Muslims’ certification of the Islamicness of Ahmadiyya or otherwise; for, they own not the copyright of Islam. Rather, it only cares about the certification of Allah, the Fountain-Head of Islam!
Now, did the Quran 33:39 declare Prophet Muhammad (saw) the Ultimate and Seal of the Prophets (Khatam an-Nabiyyeen)? “Yes”, answered Ahmadiyya, with absolute conviction of faith! But, didn’t the same Quran 4:69 declare that, based on the degree of their obedience to Allah and Muhammad, Muslims shall be among those on whom Allah has bestowed His blessings, namely, the Prophets, the Truthful, the Martyrs and the Righteous? Again, Ahmadiyya answers: “Yes, it did.” And adds that, ‘since Allah has been fulfilling this assurance through Muslims’ attaining the other three ranks of the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous over the ages, in like manner, any highly obedient Muslim can actually attain such a rank of an ordinary, non-independent, follower-prophet, without new religion and law (Shariah).
Of course, some mainstream Muslim scholars are wont to myopically explain away this Allah’s assurance in the verse with reference to some traditional narrations about the occasion of its revelation, oblivious of the fact that the clear and vast implications of the Quranic verses and words cannot be limited exclusively to and by some authenticated or unauthenticated and, sometimes, variant narrations.
Be the foregoing as it may, an important question is: is Ahmadiyya the first and only proponent of this interpretation of the verse in the Muslim Ummah? The answer is an emphatic ‘no’! Ahmadiyya’s interpretation of the verse finds support from eminent classical and modern Muslim commentators of the Quran and Hadith like al-Shaikh al-Akbar Muhyideen ibn Arabi in both his al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya (p.177-178) and Fusus al-Hikam (p. 134-135), Jalaludin Abdur-Rahman ibn Abu Bakar al-Suyuti in his al-Durr al-Manthur fee al-Tafsir al-Mathur (vol. 5, p. 386), AbdulKarim ibn Ibrahim al-Jaili in his al-Insan al-Kamil (vol. 1, p. 115), Abdul-Wahab al-Shirani in his al-Yawaqit wa al-Jawahir (vol. 2, p. 39), Hujjatul Islam, Shah Waliyullah al-Dahlawi in his al-Tafheemaat al-Ilahiyya (vol2, p.85), and Abu Hayyan Muhammad Yusuf al-Andalusi in his al-Bahr al-Muhit fee al-Tafsir (vol. 3, p. 699), etc.
For brevity, we will only quote from the last two Imams, the rest can be read in the screenshots of the relevant pages of the respective quoted original works as attached to this post.
Commenting on Quran 4:69, Abu Hayyan maintained: “The word of Allah, “among those whom Allah has favoured” refers to “the path of those on whom You have bestowed Your favour.” It is evident that the Words of Allah, “Among the Prophets,” explanation is the “whom Allah has favoured.” “Whoever among you obeys Allah and the Messenger, Allah would include him among those who had been favored earlier. Imam Raghib has said, that He will include them in four groups, in accordance with the rank and reward i.e. Prophets with Prophets, Truthful with Truthful, Martyr with Martyr and Righteous with Righteous. Imam Raghib has declared permissible that the Prophets of this Ummah be included among the Prophets in accordance with the Words of Allah: “And whosoever obeys Allah and the Messenger” This means – among the Prophets.” (al-Bahr al-Muhit, vol. 3, p. 699)
Similarly, Imam Shah Waliyullah al-Dahlawi declared, ”The cessation of prophethood with the Holy Prophet (saw) means that there can be no divinely inspired reformer after him who would be commissioned with a new law by Allah, the Gracious, for mankind.” (al-Tafheemaat al-Ilahiyyah, vol. 2, p.85)
More so, while predicting the advent of the Promised Messiah, didn’t Prophet Muhammad (saw) (who is the Seal of the Prophets and who knew the implications of the title more than the Muslim scholars) himself referred to the Promised Messiah as a Prophet of Allah in not less than FOUR TIMES within a single authentic Hadith? He referred to him thus: “Isa the Prophet of Allah and his companions will be besieged…then, Isa, the Prophet of Allah, and his companions will turn to Allah…then, Isa, the Prophet of Allah and his companions will invade the camps of the enemy…and finally, Isa, the Prophet of Allah, and his companions will turn to Allah.”(Sahih Muslim, vol.4, kitab al-fitan wa ashrat al-sa’ah)
Based on this, if truly Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (based on divine evidence) is the Promised Messiah, why should he and those who profess his truth among Muslims be adjudged unorthodox for referring to him as a prophet? Here, I can, again, guess that they will be shaking their heads in denial that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is the Promised Messiah, for the “real” Promised Messiah they are expecting is that same Jewish Messiah of old, Isa son of Maryam (as), whom they believed has not died but physically ascended to heaven and would return to this world in the end time and join the Muslim Ummah to launch their global bloody military Jihad against unbelievers!
From the foregoing, it is clear that many things are wrong with the collective religious psychology and understanding of our dear mainstream Muslim Ummah. And, as we shall expose in the following lines, it would be seen why we humbly recommend that our mainstream Muslim fellows need to allow the Promised Messiah that has come with the divine light of prophethood to help them reconstruct and recrystallize the blurred theological construction of their traditional Islamic faith. Can they make any sense from the following highlights?
Firstly, while responding to a post on his Facebook wall, Maitawaliu declared: “it is generally agreed by the entire Muslims that Muhammad (PBUH) is the Leader of the messengers, and seal of all prophets, so for someone affirming prophethood to himself, irrespective of the linguistic meaning used in interpreting prophethood, he’s indirectly informing the public that, Muhammad is not the seal of prophet.”
However, it is surprising to note that, while declaring that Prophet Muhammad (saw) is the Last Prophet in this world, he and his fellow mainstream Muslims concurrently believe that the Messiah, Prophet Isa (as), will still come back from heaven after Muhammad (saw). On the one hand, they are reprobating the belief about any prophethood after Muhammad, while, at the same time, approbating the same belief! That’s not merely a sheer paradox, but a folly par excellence! More interestingly, while it’s not unusual to hear many of them saying that Isa (as) would descend not as a prophet, but as an ordinary Alim or scholar (Hausa, Mallam; Yoruba, Alfa), however, when they are further exposed to the fact that Muhammad (saw) had referred to the Promised Messiah as a prophet (as quoted above), they would get fixated and stuck in the whirlpool of an intriguing dilemma! Should they obdurately persist in believing and expecting the descent of Isa (as) as a prophet or discard the erroneous notion?
Secondly, in spite of the fact that they are quite aware that the old Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ (as), had declared in the Bible that: “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew. 15:24); and the Quran confirmed the declaration that: “And will make him a Messenger to the children of Israel” (Quran, 3:50), they still couldn’t find it aberrant that a Prophet meant for the Jewish nation, the Israelites, should come back to this world after Muhammad (saw) and join the Muslim Ummah, thereby acquiring the status of a universal prophet which is Muhammad’s (saw) exclusive reserve and indicator of his (saw) superiority. By that, Prophet Isa (as) would not only break Muhammad’s finality of prophethood, but, also his (saw) superiority, as he (saw) had declared: “I have been exclusively made superior over the prophets with six distinctions,” among which is that “every prophet was sent to his nation, but I have been sent to all mankind.” (Sahih Muslim). Here, can the mainstream Muslim scholars and adherents now realise the folly of their expectation ancient Prophet Isa’s (as) advent within the global Ummah (world) of Islam?
Thirdly, despite their acclaimed extensive study of the Prophetic Traditions (ahadith) and its science, they are collectively oblivious of the fact that our Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) Traditions clearly indicate that, though the person to come is given the title of Messiah, his personality would be different from the personality of the ancient Jewish Messiah, Isa son of Maryam (as), who died hundreds of years before Muhammad (saw). The two Traditions that give different descriptions of the Messiah, indicating they are two different personalities sharing the same title are as follow:
(1) Regarding Isa (as), the ancient Jewish Messiah, Ibn Umar (ra) has narrated, the Holy Prophet (saw) said: I saw Jesus, Moses, and Abraham (on the night of my ascension to the heaven), Jesus was of RED COMPLEXION, AND CURLY HAIR AND A BROAD CHEST.”
(2) Regarding the Muslim Messiah for our end times, Muhammad (saw) said: “And I saw tonight in a dream near the Ka’ba, a MAN OF BROWN COLOUR, the best one can see among brown colour, and HIS HAIR WERE SO LONG that it fell between his shoulders and water was trickling from his head and he was placing his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Ka’bah. I asked: who is this? They replied this is Messiah son of Maryam” (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 2, Kitab Ahadith al-Anbiya, Hadith no. 3438 and no. 3439).
If our mainstream Muslim fellows are still disagreeing with Ahmadiyya for believing in a Messiah different from the ancient Jewish Messiah, then it is Muhammad (saw) they are contending with!
Fourth, despite their claim of religious scholarship, mainstream Muslims still could not understand and appreciate that even Jesus son of Maryam (as) himself had given verdict that whenever it’s predicted that a person that ascended to heaven would come back to this world, it’s invariably another person that is meant to come, bearing the same characteristics and mission of the person people are expecting to come from heaven. For instance, the Bible declared that, “And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven;” (2 Kings 2:11) and promised that, “Behold I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” (Malachi 4:5). Based on this, the Jewish nation was expecting Elijah to descend from heaven before the advent of Messiah, Isa son of Maryam (as). This was why, when Jesus Christ (as) appeared as the Messiah, Bible says: “And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias has come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he was spake unto them of John the Baptist,” (Matthew 17:10-13). Also, he said: “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt. 11:13-15). Unfortunately, the Jewish Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ scholars and masses who had ears refused to hear, rather, they obstinately continue to hold on to their belief and expectation of the physical descent of Elijah or Elias from heaven up till now, about 2,000 years later!
The bottom line here is that, just as John the Baptist or Prophet Yahya (as) was born on earth to live and work in the capacity and characteristics of Elijah or Elias, the same way, the Messiah for the Muslim was not to descend from heaven, rather, was to be born on earth and grow up to work in the capacity and characteristics of Isa the Messiah (as). And that person had been born, worked and passed away. Unfortunately, like the Jews, mainstream Muslims knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Would Maitawaliu and his fellow mainstream Muslims make sense of the verdict given by the same Jesus Christ (as) himself and stop expecting the same Jesus Christ (as) of old to descend from heaven?
Fifth, Mallam Maitawaliu and his fellow mainstream Muslims had learned by heart the famous Prophetic Hadith that goes thus: “Soon shall it come upon my Ummah (Muslim world) what came upon the children of Israel so much resembling themselves as one side of a pair of shoe resembles the other, to the extent that if there be a Jew who had committed incest with his mother, there would be among my Ummah who would commit the same.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, kitab al-Iman, chapter 18; vol. 5, p. 26). Does the fact of mainstream Muslims’ rejection of their earthly born Promised Messiah, Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) signal their resemblance with the children of Israel?
Here, we shall take a halt, for the sake of brevity.
However, it’s important to note that, with this humble write-up, this humble one feels confident that he has discharged his duty of faith to his brothers in faith. What better way to end therefore than to submit in Quranic style thus: “Therein, verily, is a reminder for him who has a heart, or who gives ear, and is attentive” (Quran, 50:38).