The Great Reformer (Vol. 2) [‘Mujaddid-e-Azam’]
Biography of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian
by Dr. Basharat Ahmad
Translated by Akram Ahmad
Chapter 4: Writing of ‘Tuhfa Golarwiyya’ (A Gift for Golarwi)
Reasons for Publication:
Hazrat Mirza had challenged Pir Golarwi to a Quranic commentary-writing contest under the assumption that he was a spiritual and learned man, and a contest based on their respective knowledge and understanding of the Quran would be an appropriate way to gauge their spiritual standing and purity, and would help to resolve which of the two parties had Divine assistance. But Pir Golarwi did not accept this challenge and continued to falsify and malign Hazrat Mirza’s religious message just as he had done earlier in his book Shams-ul-Hidaya. Maulana Amrohi had already responded to Pir Golarwi’s book Shams-ul-Hidaya by writing a book called Shams-e-Bazgha in which he defended Hazrat Mirza’s claims. However, Hazrat Mirza considered it appropriate to respond directly as well. So Hazrat Mirza wrote a book titled Tuhfa Golarwiyya in which the death of Jesus and Hazrat Mirza’s claim of being the Promised Messiah, were discussed in a logical and sensible manner. He also addressed Pir Golarwi’s objections and arguments in this book. Tuhfa Golarwiyya was published on September 1, 1902.
Hazrat Mirza offered a cash reward of fifty rupees to Pir Golarwi if he could convincingly rebut the arguments presented in Tuhfa Golarwiyya. Hazrat Mirza proposed that Maulvi Batalvi (a bitter opponent of Hazrat Mirza) should adjudicate the arguments; and if Maulvi Batalvi stated on oath in a public gathering that Pir Golarwi’s arguments had indeed prevailed, then Hazrat Mirza would present the monetary prize of fifty rupees to Pir Golarwi. If Pir Golarwi desired, Hazrat Mirza would deposit the prize money beforehand with Maulvi Batalvi.
Pir Golarwi was stunned by this challenge. Earlier, Pir Golarwi had been unable to respond to Hazrat Mirza’s book Ijaz-ul-Masih, and now he found himself at a loss to respond to Tuhfa Golarwiyya. The sensible and logical arguments laid out by Hazrat Mirza in Tuhfa Golarwiyya had routed Pir Golarwi yet again.
The Testimony of Pir Kothay Walay:
In Tuhfa Golarwiyya, Hazrat Mirza also presented the testimony of a saint who had lived in the village of Kotha in the Yusafzai area of the North-West Frontier Province of India. The saint was known after the village of his residence as Pir Kothay Walay, and had passed away in the year 1294 Hijrah (according to the Islamic calendar). The spiritual status of Pir Kothay Walay was so high that even a scholar-saint like Maulvi Abdullah Ghaznavi was proud of his spiritual allegiance to Pir Kothay Walay. Another saint who claimed association with Pir Kothay Walay was Maulvi Ghulam Rasool, of village Qila Mian Singh Walay.
Maulvi Hakim Muhammad Yahya, a resident of village Debgaran and a disciple of Hazrat Mirza, had heard people quote Pir Kothay Walay as having said that the birth of the Promised Mahdi (rightly-guided one) had taken place, but he had not been manifested yet. Maulvi Yahya determined to investigate this matter further and traveled to Kotha where he met Hafiz Nur Muhammad, a sincere disciple of Pir Kothay Walay, who narrated the following incident to him:
“One day I was sitting near Pir Kothay Walay while he was performing ablution in preparation for prayers when he remarked: ‘We are now in the era of somebody else.’ I did not quite understand his meaning, and inquired, ‘How so? Is it that you consider yourself so advanced in age that your era has passed away? There are many people of your age who are enjoying sound health.’ Pir Kothay Walay replied: ‘You misunderstand me. I mean something else.’ Then Pir Kothay Walay said: ‘The person who is appointed by Allah for the reformation of Islam has been born. Our turn is now over. This is why I said that we are in the era of somebody else.’
“He then added: ‘I am to a certain extent involved in worldly affairs, but this Reformer will have no concern for worldly matters. The magnitude of the problems that will confront him will be so great that no parallel exists in history, but he will not care. Afflictions and turmoil of all kinds will abound, but he will not care. The heavens and the earth will be engulfed in upheavals, but he will not care.’
Then I submitted, ‘Please tell me his name, his distinguishing characteristics, and his place of residence.’ Pir Kothay Walay simply replied: ‘I shall not tell.’”
Another person named Gulzar Khan, who lived in a village near Kotha called Topi, stated on oath to Maulvi Yahya:
“One day Pir Kothay Walay was sitting in a public gathering, and appeared to be particularly happy. Presently, Pir Kothay Walay remarked: ‘Some of my contemporaries shall witness the Promised Mahdi (rightly-guided one) with their own eyes, and they will listen to his words with their own ears.’”
Maulvi Yahya then informed Gulzar Khan that the prophecy of Pir Kothay Walay had been fulfilled, and that the Promised Mahdi had appeared in the province of Punjab. On hearing this, Gulzar Khan started weeping bitterly. He was in poor health, he said, and would not be able to travel to Punjab to see and meet the Promised Mahdi. This thought was the reason for his distress. Finally Gulzar Khan requested Maulvi Yahya to convey his salutations to the Promised Mahdi, and to request the Promised Mahdi to pray for his soul.
Similarly, Hazrat Mirza received a letter from a person named Maulvi Hameed Ullah who had written to say that his religious leader, Pir Kothay Walay, had remarked one day:
“The birth of the Promised Mahdi has taken place, although he has not manifested himself yet. He speaks the Punjabi language.”
The Testimony of a German Researcher that Jesus did not die on the Cross:
In the same book, Tuhfa Golarwiyya, Hazrat Mirza also presented excerpts from a book titled A New Life of Jesus by a German researcher named D.F. Strauss. Strauss had concluded in his book that Jesus had been taken off the Cross in a state of unconsciousness and had not died on the Cross. Another book titled Supernatural Religion by Walter R. Cassels had also reached the same conclusion.
The Belief of Christians that this is the Era of the Second Advent of the Messiah:
Hazrat Mirza included in Tuhfa Golarwiyya excerpts from books by Christian researchers of Europe in which they had expressed the view that the era for the second advent of the Messiah was indeed upon them. The excerpts were taken from the books His Glorious Appearing, by James White and The Coming of the Lord. The authors of both the books had concluded that the era through which they were passing was the era for the second advent of Jesus.
The Second Advent of the Messiah in fact means the Advent of a Person with his Likeness:
Hazrat Mirza also addressed the Christians in Tuhfa Golarwiyya and proved from the Gospel that waiting for the advent of the Messiah, the son of Mary, was futile because the prophecy of the second advent of the Messiah was meant only in the sense that a person would appear who would be in the likeness of the Messiah. This was analogous to the second advent of Elias being fulfilled in the person of John the Baptist. In fact, this judgment was given by Jesus himself in the Gospel. Jesus stated that John was in the likeness of Elias, and declared that the second advent of Elias had been fulfilled in the person of John. In view of this, it is strange that Christians do not seek guidance from the clear interpretation of the prophecy made by Jesus himself. Following this, Hazrat Mirza proved that he was the fulfillment of the prophecy regarding the second advent of the Messiah.