Nuzhat J. Haneef Recognizing the Messiah
Assessing Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qaadiyaan: His Claims, His Views, His Character, and His Movement


This chapter is the core of this document. It examines material, mostly from Ahmadiyya sources, that provides evidence relevant to verification of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s claim of being a Divinely appointed reformer and prophet. The examined material belongs to or is related to one or more of the following categories:

  • Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's prophecies and the signs that he cites as indicators of the truth of his claim.
  • His views and positions (expressed by him or explained in Ahmadiyya literature) on certain religious topics, particularly those views which attribute some special status to him.
  • His character, as reflected in his writings/ sayings and in Ahmadiyya biographies of him.

Besides the material from Ahmadiyya sources, in a few cases I also look at historical data as part of the evidence.

The objective of examining the evidence is to determine:

  • Whether Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is virtuous – whether or not he is truthful, moral, and magnanimous and exhibits decency, nobility, and probity.

    The rationale for looking for these qualities is as follows:
    • An apostle appointed by God should reflect, at least to some extent, the attributes of God. According to Islaamic/ Ahmadiyya belief, God has many virtuous qualities, some of which are indicated in the following attributes/ names of His: Truth, Holy, Gracious, Noble, Benign. It is also Ahmadiyya doctrine that apostles are a reflection of God; see, for example, [RK, v. 22, p. 115; last four lines on page; Haqeeqat-ul-Wahee].
    • These are universally accepted criteria of virtue and goodness. Someone who wants to lead men to virtue and goodness should possess these qualities.
  • Whether his religious positions and teachings have internal consistency.
  • Whether he lives up to how he was expected to act, and what he was supposed to accomplish, according to the Divine office he claimed.
  • Whether he seems to be supported by God – whether or not his prophecies come true, his honor is upheld by providence, and the signs he cites do indeed seem to be Divinely manifested in his favor.
  • Whether the view of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad presented by the Ahmadiyya Movement is accurate or at least dependable.
  • Whether the responses offered by the Ahmadiyya Movement, to criticism by its opponents, are valid.

My examination and analysis has the following characteristics:

  • All of the material that I critique is from Ahmadiyya literature, most of it from the books of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself. I do review some historical data as part of the analysis but in no case do I use, as evidence, material critical of the Ahmadiyya Movement from anti-Ahmadiyya sources25.
  • My analysis and conclusions are not based on theological grounds; my criticism of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is not based on any interpretation of Islaam (that I have or anyone else has) that is not accepted by the Ahmadiyya Movement.
  • Rather, my criticism rests on rational and moral grounds, mostly based on an observation of one or more of the following:
    • Internal Ahmadiyya contradictions, i. e., inconsistencies within Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's own statements or between his statements and those of the Ahmadiyya Movement. (Simply stated, the issue is that if a person/ group is making contradictory statements then at least one of those statements is false and, further, the person/ group is incompetent or dishonest or both.)
    • Fallacious reasoning, i. e., arguments that are inconsistent with logic. (Again, a person who offers fallacious arguments is mentally incompetent or dishonest or both.)
    • Conflicts between the basic Ahmadiyya material I examine and one or more of the following:
      • Data that can be found in Ahmadiyya literature itself 26 .
      • Historical data. (As I mentioned earlier, I have only used data from neutral sources, not from opponents of the Ahmadiyya Movement.)
      • Criteria established by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad himself and/ or his own claims. (I will cite his criteria when I use them.)
      • Universal criteria of decency, probity, etc.
      • Islaamic principles or data from Islaamic sources that are either explicitly accepted by the Ahmadiyya Movement or are general and not controversial (i. e., not disputed between the Ahmadiyya Movement and other Islaamic sects, e. g., the Islaamic belief that Jesus' mother, Mary, had a close relationship with the family of prophet Yahyaa, as shown by Quraan 3: 38). However, even when I cite some conflict with Islaamic principles or data, my criticism does not primarily rest on this; I use this usually as a supplemental argument.

So, for example, if I conclude that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was not noble it is not because I have believed an allegation made by one of his opponents; it is because Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s writings show this. Similarly, if I don’t believe that he was a prophet it is not because I adhere to some interpretation of some verse of the Quraan or some hadeeth; it is because of inconsistencies within Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s own writings.

Also note that in this chapter I do not discuss whether or not a Muslim Messiah and Mahdee were expected to appear, according to the Quraan and Hadeeth27, during the time in which Mirza Ghulam Ahmad made his claim. (I will look into that in Section 4.1, “Wasn’t His Coming Expected?”.) That is irrelevant to me here for the following reason: Even if there were crystal clear verses in the Quraan stating that the Messiah and Mahdee, being one and the same person, is to appear in India in the late 19th century, one could not take that as sufficient evidence that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was that person. To establish that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is whatever he is claiming to be, we need to check if he appears to be from God and is supported by God.

The sections of this chapter are listed below. The first three correspond to the three categories of material examined; the fourth one summarizes the main points from the first three sections.

  • 3.1, His Prophecies and Signs.
  • 3.2, His Views, Particularly Regarding Himself.
  • 3.3, His Character.
  • 3.4, Summary/Highlights of Examination Findings.

Each of the first three sections listed above have sub-sections, most of which have further sub-sections. Some of the sub-sections are quite long and complex. For those readers who may not have the time or inclination to read this chapter in its entirety, I have suggested -- in the third column of the table below -- a selected subset of sections/sub-sections (including some long and some short ones). In case even this subset is too large for you, I have provided an even smaller selection, in the last column of the table.

(Please note that if you want to respond to my critique to show me that it is invalid, you must read my entire document. Please read the Preface for more information regarding this. I am suggesting the selected subsets below only for people who are reading this document to get information rather then to refute it.)

Table 2 -- Selected Subset of Chapter 3 Sections/Sub-Sections

Sec. #Section/Sub-Section NameSuggested SubsetMinimal Subset
3.1His Prophecies and Signs  
3.1.1 His Statements Regarding the Significance of Prophecies * *
3.1.2 A Prophecy (with Several Variations) About His Life *  
3.1.3 Prophecies and Prayers for the Deaths of Opponents:  , Maulvee Sanaaullaah * *, Dr. `Abdul Hakeem * *
3.1.4 Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s Own Death    
3.1.5 A Disciple with a “Firm Root” – Meer `Abbaas    
3.1.6 Sign # 1: Arriving at the Expected Time and Breaking the Cross *  
3.1.7 A Couple of Simple Signs:  , Marriage to a Virgin and a Widow *  
3.1.8 A Couple of Non-Simple Signs    
3.1.9 The Musleh Mau`ood Prophecy    
3.1.10 An Overall Assessment of His Prophecies and Signs * *
3.2His Views, Particularly Regarding Himself  
3.2.1 His Prophethood * *
3.2.2 The Implications of Rejecting Him    
3.2.3 The Pledge of Allegiance to Him    
3.2.4 Satanic Influence in “Revelation” to Divine Apostles *  
3.2.5 Abrogation of Jihaad    
3.2.6 Miscellaneous Noteworthy Ideas    
3.3His Character  
3.3.1 Significance of His Character * *
3.3.2 Personal Discipline During Youth *  
3.3.3 Unfulfilled Commitments    
3.3.4 Foul/Abusive Language * *
3.3.5 Petty and Unholy Content    
3.3.6 Miscellaneous Noteworthy Traits and Behavior:  , Less Than Forthright Management of Ahmadiyya Movement Funds *  
3.3.7 Extolling Victoria’s Benevolent Embrace * *
3.3.8 The 50 Horses and Spying on Friday    
3.3.9 The Counterfeit Coin    
3.4Summary/Highlights of Examination Findings * *

25 By saying that I do not consider data from anti-Ahmadiyya sources as part of the evidence, I mean that if, for example, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad says that his first son was born in year X but an opponent of the Ahmadiyya Movement has said that that son was born in year Y, I will not consider the opponent's statement to be proof that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has made a false statement or that he is forgetful. But I will critique Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's statements if I find that in one place he says his first son was born in year X and in another place he says he was born in year X+ 10. Also, if I find some historical data – for example, a book published by some neutral source – that contradicts Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's claim, then I will consider that as relevant evidence. (The issue described here is a hypothetical example although there is an actual issue somewhat similar to this one.)

26 This is slightly different from the first point above, which pertains to inconsistencies between statements. An inconsistency between statements would occur if, for example, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad first makes a statement that X is 5 and then another that X is 10. A conflict with data occurs if, for example, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad makes a statement that X is 5 but I can find evidence, from within Ahmadiyya literature, that shows that X is not 5 but rather 10 or 20 or something else.

27 By "Hadeeth" (starting with a capital letter) I mean a book of hadeeths, or all such books taken together.