Muslim History — An Echo of Israelite History

Dr. Israr Ahmad confirms Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s Views — Muslim downfall similar to that of the Israelites

The Muslim Thinker, April/May/June 1990 Issue (Issue 3, pp. 20–23)

Dr Israr Ahmad is one of Pakistan’s foremost Sunni religious scholars, and a well-known speaker and writer on the teachings of Islam. Recently he wrote a series of articles in the Pakistani newspaper Jang, in one of which he commented on a prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, relating to the decline of the Muslims in their later history, as follows:

“The Holy Prophet Muhammad foretold that the same evils would arise among his followers as had arisen among the Israelites. He said:

‘If they — the Israelites — had crawled into the hole of a lizard, you will crawl into it too’.

“His words go so far that although one is hesitant to quote them, but they are the words of the Holy Prophet which I put before you. He said:

‘If there was a wretched man among the Israelites who committed incest with his own mother, then among you also shall arise such a wretched man’.

“The meaning is that all the evils, in terms of religion, doctrine, thought, knowledge and deeds, which came to prevail among the Israelites, shall also come to prevail among the Muslims. The text of the hadith is as follows:

All the things which happened to the Israelites shall also happen to my followers, just as one shoe matches the other shoe’.

“This is a most eloquent comparison. Look at a pair of shoes, and because the front parts of the two point in opposite directions, you see one shoe being apparently different from the other. But put the soles of the two shoes together, and they are identical. Similarly, the circumstances of the Israelites and the Muslims appear to be different, because after all, there is the span of fourteen hundred years, and so there is some difference on the face of it. But if you look between the lines, you find that there is not a hair breadth’s difference. And as to the condition of the Jews described in the Holy Quran, each one of us must look at himself to see whether he has not fallen prey to that condition.” (Jang, London edition, 19 October 1987, page 3).

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad applied exactly this prophecy about a hundred years ago to the condition of the Muslims in these times. In the extract below, he cites the same saying referring to “shoes” which Dr Israr Ahmad has quoted. Writes Hazrat Mirza:

“Moses’ people had so thoroughly gone astray by the fourteenth century (after Moses) that righteousness and virtue had disappeared altogether. The Jewish divines were pre-occupied with needless dissensions and selfish controversies, much evil and wickedness had spread among them, and the worldly condition of the Jews had suffered great disintegration as well. Precisely this is the condition of the Muslim people at this time, and events before our eyes are plainly testifying that in reality this people and its divines are following in the footsteps of the Jews of Jesus’ time. …

“Leaving aside the prophecies for a moment, look at the situation rationally as a truth seeker, as to whether the case of the Muslims of this age and the Jews of Jesus’ time fulfils the words

one shoe matching the other’,

or not. Look at the Gospels with care and read whether what Jesus has described of the condition of the Jewish priests and lawyers, exposing their hypocrisy, is to be found in the present-day Muslim religious leaders, or not. Is it not true that our leaders, like the Jewish priests, are day and night engaged in futile disputes, are utterly devoid of spirituality, and are constantly attempting to prove others as kafir [non-Muslim] while they themselves know not what Islam is? … Pick up the histories of the Jews and see how intensely similar are these Muslims in their religious and worldly destruction to the Jews of Jesus’ time.” (Shahadat al-Quran, published 1893, pp. 43–44)

Just compare Dr Israr Ahmad’s concluding words with the following from Hazrat Mirza:

“When we read in the very first part of the Quran passages regarding the Jewish priests, to the effect that ‘you preach goodness to others, but forget your own souls’ [etc.] … the heart cries out spontaneously that all these verses apply to most of our own religious leaders.” (Shahadat al-Quran, published 1893, p. 48)

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s Claim:

Hazrat Mirza has presented this resemblance as an evidence of his claim to be the Messiah whose advent is promised among Muslims. The prophecies about the similarity of the Muslims to the Israelites do not merely speak of the resemblance of the evils arising in the two nations. Muslims are also promised in the Quran and the Hadith that khalifas (deputies to the Holy Prophet Muhammad) and inspired saints would be raised among them instead of, but in the likeness of, the prophets of the Israelites. It is prophesied in particular that the Messiah would appear among the Muslims. Referring to both aspects of this intense similarity, Hazrat Mirza wrote:

“Just as in the last days of the Mosaic law a prophet arose named Jesus, in a time when the moral condition of the Jews had deteriorated completely — they had strayed very far from real piety, virtue, mutual sympathy, unity and true godliness, their knowledge and thought was confined merely to formalism and letter-worship, and in their worldly position they had become weak and humiliated — similarly it is necessary that among the Muslim people too there should arise a muhaddas [non-prophet who receives revelation], in the likeness of that prophet and of his time, when they have also degenerated in the same manner as that in which the Jews had fallen in Jesus’ time.” (Shahadat al-Quran, published 1893, p. 43)

The resemblance with the Israelites is in two points, he wrote, and the second must be accepted if the first is acknowledged. These two points are:

“… firstly, in the disintegration of the nation, the decline in worldly standing, and the change for worse in virtue, faith and righteousness; and secondly, in the coming of a mujaddid [Reformer] at such a time, who has the name Promised Messiah and who restores the original state of faith. … Since our Muslim brethren accept that one of these two signs has been fulfilled in this age, to turn away from the second sign is just like saying that the sun has undoubtedly risen but it is not daytime yet.” (Shahadat al-Quran, published 1893, p. 48)

What an elegant and simple explanation has Hazrat Mirza given! If Muslims have degenerated to a condition akin to that of the Jews of Jesus’ time, as was prophesied, then the Messiah who was to revive the Muslims must have appeared as well, in accordance with the rest of the prophecy.

Note that Hazrat Mirza has plainly stated in one extract that the Messiah to arise among Muslims would be a muhaddas, and in another that he would be a mujaddid. Therefore, in his capacity as the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza claims not to be a prophet, but to be a non-prophet who receives revelation (i.e., muhaddas), and a reformer like the several Muslim religious reformers who had preceded him.