The Star that Guides
English translation of ‘Najm-ul-Huda’
by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian
The fact should be borne in mind that there are many Traditions concerning the Messiah and Mahdi. Many of them are mutually conflicting and often contradictory. Nothing is known regarding their authenticity and we possess no authority for accepting their veracity. The common element in these Traditions, that a person is to appear called the Messiah, the Hakam (arbiter) and the Mahdi, has, indeed, the support of all reliable evidence and has never been disputed. But as regards the other details, the reports are so conflicting and contradictory that any attempt at reconciliation has puzzled the collectors of the Traditions and confounded the doctors and overtaxed the wit of the theologians. They have, therefore, remained content with merely collecting in their works the different Traditions without any attempt at an examination of the comparative weight of evidence supporting the different versions. Accordingly, they have found themselves in a veritable whirlpool of surprises. Some of them have expressed the opinion that the Mahdi will be descended from the family of Abbas, and others that he will descend from the house of Fatima [daughter of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)]. Some say that he will be of the children of Hussain [grandson of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)] and some that he will be a descendant of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings he on him). There are also those who think that he will be an ordinary member from among the followers of Islam; and others who declare that the Mahdi is no other than the Messiah who is to appear, and that, save him, there is to be no other Mahdi. Such—and there are many more—are the Traditions that have come down to us. Similarly, regarding the coming of the Messiah, there are numerous differences of opinion. The Holy Quran bears witness that Jesus is dead; but, nevertheless, the contrary opinion is held that he will descend from the sky where he is still alive, having never met with death. Few learned men there have been who held the view that Jesus was really dead. This is what has been stated in the Holy Quran and this view cannot be gainsaid except by one who is obstinately bent on opposing the truth. The men who believe in the death of Jesus are of opinion that the second coming of Jesus will be in the nature of the appearance of a counterpart. This is the opinion held by the Mutezilites [Mutazilites] and the leading members of the Sufistic School. Among the men who believe that Jesus will descend from the sky there are some who say that he will descend near the minaret at Damascus, and some who hold that he will descend among the cohorts of Islam, and some who believe that he will descend when the Anti-Christ makes his appearance. Some assign Makkah and some Jerusalem as the place of his descent while others have named various other places. The Traditions further tell us that all these differences of opinion will be decided by the Messiah himself, who will be the Hakam (arbiter) appointed by God, and that men who will accept him as such, far from being dissatisfied with his findings, will accept the same openly and sincerely, will be reckoned as true Muslims; while those who will refuse to accept him will say
“sufficient for us is the opinion in which we found our forefathers.”
Men wonder how a commissioned messenger could come from God; and, say that the claimant is an impostor. But even these men were before this awaiting his advent at the head of the century of the Muslim era. And now the looked-for has appeared and brought with him honour for them, and prepared for them all necessary equipment and provided for them the required weapons to silent their enemies. Did they fail to recognise the time of the appearance of the Messenger or was his coming untimely? Certainly, the day appointed by God has arrived and the hour of decision is at hand. Fortunate, therefore, are those who accept me with thanksgiving. Do they wish to overthrow him whom God is resolved to exalt and to persist in their fruitless controversies? But God has already indicted His rule that the man sent by Him shall carry away the victory. Will they then make bold to enter the lists against God? As a matter of fact, there is no more any mystery about the question; but their hearts have been hardened and they are groping like the blind.
O men! Why do you reject the signs of God which you have seen with your own eyes? Is there no one righteous among you? You scoffed at God’s Messenger and would have killed him with your swords had not God cast the fear of the rulers upon your hearts. Had there not been present the existing government, you would certainly have attacked the Messenger of God. Now the truth has been revealed and the excuses you have offered have proved to be lame. You have never cared seriously to ponder. So, I leave the matter with God Who decides everything.