Questions about the “Second Manifestation” of God’s Help

by Dr. Zahid Aziz

The Light (UK), May 2007 Issue (pp. 5–7)

In his booklet Al-Wasiyyat (‘The Will’), published two and a half years before his death, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad comforted his followers with the news that, just as his Movement was blessed with Divine support during his life, so after his departure God would continue to help his Move­ment with a

“second manifestation of Divine power” (qudrat sani or saniyya).

We received an e-mail at the ahmadiyya.org website on April 6th from a Luqman Ahmed asking some questions about our interpre­tation of this as compared with the Qadiani Jamaat interpretation. The e-mail began as follows:

“I would like to start by thanking people who have worked so hard to put up the website ahmadiyya.org. My name is Luqman and I am a resident in the city of Maple, Canada. I have briefly gone through your website which is very well made. It represents the beliefs of your community in a true manner. By the grace of Allah I am an Ahmadi [Qadiani] and I study in Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada. If you don’t mind, I have a very simple question to ask. Again and again on your website, you have mentioned Promised Messiah’s [Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian] (peace be on him) book ‘Al-Wasiyyat’ [The Will] to show that the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) made Anjuman in charge after him. You also mentioned that the Promised Messiah himself created Anjuman-e-Ahmadiyya. But when we read Al-Wasiyyat, we find that when the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) mentions the second manifestation, he says that: ‘And that second manifestation cannot come unless I depart.’ (full text is given later). Why did he say that it cannot appear unless I depart when Anjuman was already established?”

Response:

I am thankful for your kind comments about our website and I much appreciate that you wish to learn of our viewpoint.

It is your misunderstanding that we regard the Anjuman which Hazrat Mirza sahib created as being the ‘second manifestation’ of Divine help to come after him. The Anjuman is a body of human beings working by its human judgment. We do not claim that its decisions are inspired and directed by God Himself, as the Qadiani Jamaat claims about its Khalifa [Caliph]. The Sadr Anjuman was created by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad for the purpose of managing and adminis­tering the funds and the work of the Ahmadiyya Movement, and was given the final authority by him in all such matters. It was not created to be a spiritual mentor or an intermediary between man and God.

The e-mail continues:

“What is your interpretation of this sentence? We Ahmadis believe that he referred to Khilafat [Caliphate] in this sentence and Khalifah would be the head of the community after the Promised Messiah (peace be on him). Another thing that you should remember is that we Ahmadis [Qadianis, as you call us] also have Anjuman but it is not on top of the Khalifah.”

Response:

Regarding the words

“it cannot appear unless I depart”,

please note that this second manifestation of God’s help for a Divinely-established Movement comes in order to show that that Movement is indeed from God. During the lifetime of the man sent by God, his followers wonder whether, after he has died, God will still continue to support their Movement. Those who don’t believe he is from God tend to think that his success in his lifetime is due to his personality rather than help from God and his Movement will not last after him. Therefore, it cannot be proved until he has departed that God continues to assist and give success to his Move­ment after him.

Nowhere in Al-Wasiyyat has Hazrat Mizra sahib mentioned anything about the kind of Khilafat or Khalifa that exists in the Qadiani Jamaat, neither by using this term nor as a concept. You say you also have an Anjuman “but it is not on top of the Khalifah”. The second Khalifa, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad, stated in a lengthy speech on this subject in 1925 that the original rules of the Anjuman as created by the Promised Messiah “did not include the existence of the khalifa of the time”, and that after he became khalifaa resolution was passed to the effect that the Anjuman must accept whatever the khalifa says. But he considers this resolution not sufficient to establish the khilafatbecause he says:

“… the Anjuman which can pass the resolution that it shall obey the khalifa in everything, if ten years later it says that it shall not obey him, it is entitled to do so according to the rules of the Anjuman.”

Then he declares that the khilafat remains:

“…at the mercy of a few men who can, if they so wish, allow the system of khilafat to continue in existence, and if they do not so wish, it cannot remain in existence … Because the institution of khilafat was not included in the basic principles of the Jamaat, the movement lives in the constant danger [that] … by the stroke of the pen of ten or eleven men Qadian can at once become Lahore.” (Al-Fazl, 3 Nov. 1925)

Therefore, he introduced in 1925 a new system whereby the Anjuman was made subservient to the khalifa. Eleven years after becoming khalifa, Mirza Mahmud Ahmad was still finding that the Anjuman was “on top” of the khalifa (to use your words). One wonders what kind of a second manifestation of the power of God was this, which was at the mercy of a few men (of the Qadiani Jamaat from 1914 onwards), who could put an end to that manifestation and turn Qadian into Lahore!

The original Urdu speech can be read on the Qadiani Jamaat website alislam.org in the collec­tion of Mirza Mahmud Ahmad’s writings entitled Anwar-ul-Ulum (see volume 9, number 9).

In his e-mail Luqman Ahmed then quotes a couple of passages from Al-Wasiyyat, whose relevant part we give below:

“For it is essential for you to see the second manifestation, too, and its coming is better for you because it is everlasting the continuity of which will not end till the Day of Judgement. And that second manifesta­tion cannot come unless I depart. But when I depart, then God will send this second manifestation for you which shall always remain with you … And after I am gone there will be some other persons who will be the manifestation of the second power.”

He poses the following question:

“Which people are mentioned here. I am sure he would not refer to Anjuman as persons.”

Response:

Even the very words used by Hazrat Mirza sahib, “some other persons”, cannot refer to the khilafat system of the Qadiani Jamaat. A continuous, unbroken system of succession, and one which supposedly is to continue uninterrupted till the Day of Judgment, cannot be described as “some persons”, which means “individuals here and there”.

In a second e-mail, sent very shortly after the one above, Luqman Ahmed quotes this time from our translation of Al-Wasiyyat a note by Maulana Muhammad Ali relating to the above passage. We reproduce that quote below:

“It must be remembered that by the “second power” (Qudrat Sani) is meant nothing other than the Divine assistance which must make its appearance after the death of the Promised Messiah. Read again the words on page 13: … These words are clearly a translation of the Promised Messiah’s revelation: “I will make those who follow you above those who disbelieve till the Day of Judgment.” Therefore, to take the “second power” as referring to a particular individual is to abuse these words. As to the words, “after me there will be some other individuals who will be manifesta­tions of the second power”, these do not show that khalifas are being spoken of. If Hazrat Mirza had wanted to convey that, he would have written that after him there would be his khalifas who would be manifestations of the second power. The words “some other individuals” clearly show that the Promised Messiah did not have in mind any institution of khilafat, which is why the word khalifa is not found anywhere in the whole of Al-Wasiyyat. Had such a system of khilafat been meant, then this was the right occasion to speak of it openly and to say that his khalifas would be the manifestations of the second power. We must not throw the words of the Will behind our backs in pursuit of our own views.”

Luqman Ahmed asks us:

“Now, Qadianis interpret the second manifestation as Khilafat which according to Maulana Muhammad Ali Sahib is impossible. But he does not tell us his interpretation of these words. Please let me know what exactly is second manifestation according to the Lahori Jamaat.”

I am very surprised by this question as it is dealt with clearly in Maulana Muhammad Ali’s note. The “second power” is the promise of God given to Hazrat Mirza sahib in the words:

“I will make those who follow you above those who disbelieve till the Day of Judgment.”

And we have seen this fulfilled. In all the issues of difference between Hazrat Mirza sahib and other Muslims, his views have always been becoming more and more prevalent. The death of Jesus is accepted more and more. As regards his interpretation of jihad, recent world events have forced Muslims to proclaim the same peaceful, spiritual meaning as he taught. That is the Divine help after the departure of the Promised Messiah. There have been persons among Ahmadis who triumphed in debate over opponents of Islam and opponents of the Promised Messiah. This promise that his followers would be “above” his rejectors was fulfilled through them.

Hazrat Mirza sahib has also written in Al-Wasiyyat that after the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad there also took place a “second manifesta­tion” of Divine power to help the Muslims (the first manifestation being during the life of the Holy Prophet). The Qadiani interpretation implies that the Divine help granted to the Holy Prophet’s followers after him was not ever-lasting and came to an end, but the Divine help granted to the followers of Hazrat Mirza sahib after him will last forever. Such a notion is absolutely unacceptable. In fact, as Hazrat Mirza sahib wrote many times, his own coming is in accordance with God’s promise to help the religion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad forever. Hazrat Mirza sahib’s own coming was itself a part of the second manifestation of Divine power  (qudrat saniyya) that came after the Holy Pro­phet Muhammad.

When Hazrat Maulana Nur-ud-Din was the Head of the Ahmadiyya Movement, he was asked the question, only ten months before his death,

“what is meant by qudrat saniyya?”

He replied:

“When the founder of a community is completing his work, then in order to accomplish that work the manifestation of the power of God takes place, as it says in the Holy Quran:

‘This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you’.

“Its manifestation took place in the time of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. But after him, this continued in the times of his khalifas, deputies and mujaddids. They were all the ‘second power’ (qudrat saniyya). The second power cannot be limi­ted to a particular form. Whenever any nation becomes weak, then Allah the Most High, out of His wisdom, sends the second power in order to strengthen it.” (Badr, 22 May 1913, pages 3–4)

He did not give the reply: “I am the qudrat saniyya”, as would be expected if the Qadiani interpretation was correct. The real ‘second manifestation of Divine power’, which is to last forever, is that which was granted to Muslims to carry forward the mission of the Holy Prophet Muhammad after his death with the help of God. The Divine power that came during the life of Hazrat Mirza sahib, as well as the one he mentions as coming after him, are both a part of that same Divine assistance which was granted to the Muslims after the Holy Prophet.

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