"They call me a madman: Oh blessed madness, let me dance around thee!"
(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad)
"Fight The Power"
(The Isley Brothers)
s far as we are aware, he was the first person who developed, in his Urdu book, Masih Hindustein Mein (translated into English as Jesus in India) a unified and coherent theory regarding a possible post-crucifixion life of Jesus Christ. The reader should know that Ghulam Ahmad’s entire book is on the Internet. Ghulam Ahmad’s work is always cited as original source material in books that deal with this issue (see Kersten, Kaiser, Hassnain, Nazir Ahmad, etc.)
uch was the enthusiasm of this most controversial figure, that, as the above quote from him demonstrates, he ignored the taunts of his enemies and continued in work that he deemed to be God-appointed. He proclaimed his “madness” to be madness for the love of God. And whatever one’s opinion (and there are several) of the personal religious claims of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908) it has to be admitted that the impact of his contribution to the theory of a post-crucifixion life of Jesus Christ is immense. Though people like Karl Bahrdt, Karl Venturi, and Heinrich Paulus had, prior to Ghulam Ahmad, advanced the theory that Jesus Christ may have survived the crucifixion, Ghulam Ahmad might be called the “father” of this theory.
Ghulam Ahmad offered theories pertaining to the events surrounding the crucifixion, as well as Jesus’ post-crucifixion life. He even included a map that showed Jesus’ possible route from the Holy Land to Kashmir. He did a massive amount of research, even discovering mention of the very ointment, Marham-i-Isa (mentioned in at least 32 ancient books of medicine that he lists, including the famous Qanun, by Shaikh-ul-Rais Bu Ali Sina), which, as is claimed in those works, was used to heal Jesus’ wounds. He drew from a myriad of sources, as he states in the following excerpt from his book:
“Hence, I shall try to prove in this book that Jesus (peace
be on him) did not die on the Cross: he did not go up to heaven, nor should
it be supposed that he will ever again come down from heaven to earth; that,
rather, he died at the age of 120 years at Srinagar, in Kashmir, and that
his tomb is to be found in the Khan Yar Street of that town. I have divided
this enquiry into ten chapters, and an epilogue, comprising the testimony
of the Bible, the testimonies of the Holy Quran and the Hadith, the testimony
of medical books, the testimony of historical records, the testimony of oral
traditions which have been handed down from generation to generation, miscellaneous
circumstantial evidence, the testimony of rational argument and the testimony
of fresh revelation from God to me”
So, while the sojourn of Jesus Christ in Kashmir had been mentioned long before Ghulam Ahmad in such works as Ikmal-ud-Din, by Al-Shaikh Al-Said-us-Sadiq (who died in Khorasan in 962 AD), this information had been all but hidden from the world. It was gathering dust in the libraries of the East. Even if the scholars of the West were aware of such works, they certainly were not about to expose this information and risk facing the scorn of the powerful Church.
What were Ghulam Ahmad’s
motivations? His enemies, both Christians and orthodox Muslims, declare that
he had invented this theory as a way to justify his personal claim that God
had appointed him the long-awaited Messiah and Mahdi predicted by various scriptures to arrive in the latter days. With
Jesus out of the way, buried in Kashmir, his enemies said, Ghulam Ahmad could then claim to be the spiritual return
of Jesus, and gather followers who would help him embark upon his mission
to revive Islam. His supporters, of course, assert that he did not invent
the theory, and that even if he had never said a single word about the matter,
the fact would remain, in their view, that Jesus Christ lies dead and buried
in Srinagar. Of course, since many ancient documents speak of Jesus in Kashmir,
it is certain that Ghulam Ahmad did not invent this theory.
For purposes of this study, we have no intention of taking
any position on Ghulam Ahmad’s
religious beliefs, nor do we wish to involve ourselves in the religious controversies
surrounding this figure. Whatever his motives, we find one of his stated purposes
for writing his book, Jesus in India, very interesting, because
it reveals that his goal was not strictly to address problems with Christianity.
He said that a chief reason for writing his book was his concern over what
he saw as the low moral state of the Muslims. He stated that the traditional
Islamic view of a warrior Messiah, in the form of the physical
return of Jesus Christ, establishing the global rule of Islam by force, had
all but destroyed the morals of the Muslims, causing them to adopt a warlike
mentality and a disregard for human life. He used the phrase, “dinned into
the ears” to describe how Muslim children had been taught by their parents,
over the centuries and through generations, about the coming of the bloody
Imam. So, one might suggest that Ghulam Ahmad had taken it upon himself to cure Muslims of
what could possibly be called a psycho-spiritual malady, rooted in a belief
in the return of a vicious warrior Messiah, causing many Muslims to become
morally depraved and inherently violent, according to him. His statement in
this regard is interesting:
“I have written this book, so that, by adducing proofs from
established facts, from conclusive historical evidence of proved value and
from ancient documents of non-Muslims, I might remove the serious misconceptions
which are current among Muslims and among most Christian sects regarding the
earlier and the later life of Jesus (on whom be peace)— misconceptions, the
dangerous implications of which have not only injured and destroyed the conception
of Divine Unity, but the unwholesome and poisonous influence of which has for long been noticed
in the morals of the Muslims of this country [India]. Spiritual
maladies, i.e., want of good morals, evil thoughts, callousness, want of sympathy,
are spreading among most Islamic sects, being the result of beliefs in unfounded
stories and anecdotes of this kind.
“Human sympathy, pity
and love of justice, humility and humble-mindedness—all good qualities—are
disappearing day by day, as if they will soon bid a last farewell to this
community. This callousness and this immorality make many a Muslim appear
no better than the beasts of the jungle. A Jain or a Buddhist is afraid of
and avoids killing even a mosquito or a flea, but, alas! There are many among
us Muslims who, while they kill an innocent man or commit wanton murder, are
not afraid of the powerful God, who rates human life higher than that of all
the animals. What is this callousness and cruelty and want of sympathy due
to? It is due to this: that from
their very childhood, stories and anecdotes and wrong views of the doctrine
of Jehad [struggle; “holy war”] are dinned into their ears and inculcated
into their hearts, the result being that gradually they become morally dead
and cease to feel the heinousness of their hateful actions; nay,
rather, the man who murders another man unawares and thus brings ruin to the
murdered man’s family thinks that he has done a meritorious deed; or rather,
that he has made the most of an opportunity to win favor with his community.
“As no lectures or sermons are delivered in our country to stop such evils—and if there are any such lectures they have an element of hypocrisy in them—the common people think approvingly of such misdeeds. Accordingly, taking pity upon my own people, I have compiled several books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic, in which I have stated that the popular view of Jehad prevalent among Muslims, that is, the expectation of a bloody Imam, full of spite and hostility for other people, is a texture of false beliefs inculcated by shortsighted Ulema [religious leaders]; otherwise, Islam does not allow the use of the sword for the Faith, except in the case of defensive wars, or in the case of wars waged to punish a tyrant or to uphold freedom. The need of a defensive war arises when the aggression of an adversary threatens one’s own life. These are the three kinds of Jehad permitted by the Shariat [Islamic law], and, apart from these three kinds, there is no other kind of war that is permitted by Islam for the propagation of the Faith. I have, in short, spent a large sum of money on such books, and have published them in this country and in Arabia and Syria and Khurasan, etc. But, by the grace of God, I have now discovered powerful arguments which are meant to eradicate these unfounded beliefs from the hearts of the people.”
Ghulam Ahmad was born in the year 1835 in a
small town called Qadian, India (the town was originally called Islampur Qadi,
then its name changed to Kada, then finally to Qadian). Ghulam Ahmad first came to prominence
in the Islamic world during the polemical years of the late 1800s, years that
were characterized by a general resurgence of religion. Professor Louis J.
Hammann, in a small booklet, paints a vivid picture of those years:
“The middle of the 19th century was,
as we all know, a time of great intellectual and religious ferment. The natural
and social sciences were cooking on the front burners. And on the back burners
the caldrons of the great religious traditions were coming to a boil. Such
metaphors aside, the 19th century transition to the wonders and horrors of
the 20th century was marked by movements of renewal and fulfillment in religious
communities around the world. The surge of apocalyptic visions and the historic
programs of restoration in western Christianity are well known. What may not
be as well known is the fact that the world of Islam also saw movements in
which Quranic and other scriptural prophecies were brought to fulfillment.
“The conviction was widespread that the historical career of humanity was approaching a threshold. This approach, of course, was not capricious. However one may justify the conviction that a threshold event was in the making, whether by historical analysis or by exegesis of prophetic visions, it must, back then, have seemed inevitable. We cannot and need not here resolve the dilemma, whether it was historical process, divine intervention or a secret cooperation of the two modalities that was bringing the world to a crisis. Apparently the conviction was widespread that the new age of intellectual, social and political transformation was accompanied by a decline in moral and spiritual values.
“The Moloch of the
new age of industry and science was demanding of humans that they sacrifice
their transcendent relations to the immanent deities of prosperity and nationality.
As the visions that guided the human person in community were being secularized,
the religious impulse on many fronts tried to resist. Inter-human communication
and commerce were usurping the place of a willful communion with God. Not
only was the world changing, but changing was changing. Trends, long in the
making, were moving civilization and culture irresistibly toward a critical
moment beyond which choices of conservation and preservation would not be
effective. As the new age dawned, would the sun shine on a godless world that
had sacrificed devotion and piety to the new immanent deities of material
progress and rational process? There were many who could entertain no such
prospect. I think, however, that it was not such a negative propensity that
moved Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to his oracles...”
These were the years when Christian missionaries entered India in droves, and were actually succeeding in converting Indian Muslims to Christianity. In addition, various Hindu missionary movements, such as the Arya Samaj, were impacting upon the Muslims of India. Ghulam Ahmad, distressed over this condition, as well as what he perceived as a general weakness amongst Muslims in regards their defense of the religion of Islam, set about to address this powerful onslaught. In 1884 he published a massive work entitled, Baraheen Ahmadiyya [Urdu] in which he presented what he considered to be 300 proofs of the superiority of Islam over all other religions. At first, Ghulam Ahmad’s work was received with almost wild enthusiasm amongst the Muslims. Of course, at that time, Ghulam Ahmad was also an orthodox Muslim. His book was so well received amongst the Muslims that one Muslim even accorded him the title of Mujjadid—Reformer, a title that had been bestowed on only 13 other people in the 1400-year history of Islam. An example of how well-loved by the Muslims this book was is shown below. It is just one of many such forms of praise Ghulam Ahmad received from his Muslim brethren:
“In our opinion this
book, at this time and in view of the present circumstances, is such that
the like of it has not appeared in Islam up to now, while nothing can be said
about the future. Its author too has been so constant in the service of Islam,
with his money, life, pen and tongue, and personal experience that very few
parallels can be found in the Muslims. If anyone considers our words to be
an Asian exaggeration, let him show us at least one such book which so vigorously
fights all the opponents of Islam, especially the Arya and Brahamo Samaj,
and let him name two or three persons who have supported Islam, not only with
their wealth, lives, pen and tongue, but also by personal spiritual experience,
and who have boldly thrown the challenge to all the opponents of Islam and
the deniers of Divine revelation, that whoever doubts the truth of God speaking
to man, he may come and observe it for himself, thus giving other religions
a taste of this experience.”
It seemed that Ghulam Ahmad was well on his way to becoming the premier
Islamic religious leader and reformer in India. Then, in a stunning announcement
made in three publications (Fateh
Islam, Tauzih Maram,
and Izala Auham) in the year
1890, Ghulam Ahmad shocked not only his Christian and Hindu enemies, but his Muslim
brethren as well. For in those books he made the awesome claim that God had
appointed him the Masih (Messiah) and the long-awaited Imam Mahdi whom Muhammad had predicted would bring about the final rule of Islam. Not only
that, he also claimed to be the second coming of Jesus Christ, i.e., the Messiah
of the Christians, the Guru-Kalank Avatar of the Hindus, an Avelokiteshvara
of the Buddhists, the Mesio Dharmbahmi of the Zoroastrians. In short, Ghulam
Ahmad claimed to be the long-awaited world-reformer who, he claimed, had
been mentioned in the various revealed scriptures of the world.
Needless to say, Ghulam Ahmad spent the remainder of his life defending himself against Christians, Hindus, and Muslims. The same man who had, in 1884, praised Ghulam Ahmad for his unprecedented defense of Islam, Maulvi Muhammad Husain Batalvi (a leader of the Ahl-i-Hadith sect, and editor of the journal, Ishaat as-Sunna) had turned his most bitter enemy by 1891. Others who had also originally rallied around Ghulam Ahmad joined Batalvi in denouncing him. Still, Ghulam Ahmad repeated his claims in various books. Below is a sample:
“I say it over again,
and nothing can stop me from saying it, that I am the one who has been sent
to regenerate mankind so that religion and the love of God may be established
afresh in the hearts of men. I have been sent like the one [Jesus] who came
after Moses and whose
spirit was taken up into the heavens during Herod’s reign after much suffering.”
claims had no place in orthodox Islam, as far as the orthodox clergy were
concerned, for the reasons that we analyzed in the Islam link. They wondered
why he would claim to be the return of everybody. Ghulam Ahmad set forth his reasons in the following manner. He stated that it
could not be possible that each of the revealed religions of the world would
be sent its own separate reformer. In a world that was, even then, moving
closer together, it made no sense that God would send different world reformers,
and cause so much confusion. So, Ghulam Ahmad claimed, God had placed all the qualities of
these various reformers in him and had commissioned him to bring all
humanity under the banner of Islam, which, he explained, represented the very
synthesis of all religions. He stated that this goal
would be accomplished, through peaceful means, within 300 years of his time.
One might think that his claims
would have been totally dismissed, but that was not the case. Some of the
most powerful religious and professional figures of the time began to “declare
biat” (offer their oath of allegiance to him), and he was very quickly surrounded
by a very able team of some of the most learned Muslims. For instance, Maulvi
Muhammad Ali, who is regarded even today
by the orthodox of Islam as one of the most learned Muslims of the 20th century,
and Maulvi Hakeem Maulana Nurruddin,
a distinguished Indian physician who, upon the death of Ghulam Ahmad,
became his first “Khalifa,” or successor, became loyal followers.
Ghulam Ahmad made matters worse still (from the perspective of orthodox Islam) by further claiming that not only was he Imam Mahdi and the spiritual return of the founders of the revealed religions, but that he was also a prophet. And this became the worst thing he could have done in the eyes of orthodox Islam. Orthodox Muslims interpret the Quran as teaching that no prophet—of any type—can come after Muhammad. This claim is based on the following verse of the Quran:
“Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.”
Ghulam Ahmad explained that the expression “Seal of the Prophets” did not mean that Muhammad was the last prophet in point of time, but, rather, that any prophet coming after him would have to bear his (Muhammad’s) seal, i.e., be a Muslim. He advanced his belief that as he (Ghulam Ahmad) had not brought a new law (scripture), then he had not violated any Islamic principle. He defined himself as a non-law-bearing subservient prophet to Muhammad, who had only attained that rank by obedience to God and to the practices of Muhammad. Ghulam Ahmad did not rely totally on arguing the finer points of Arabic or religious doctrine to support his claim, though he was a master at doing so. He also stated that God himself had spoken to him and told him that he was a prophet.
To this day the followers of Ghulam Ahmad, who now claim to have an international membership of some 70,000,000, have become the number-one target of the orthodoxy in Islam, with the Bahais being not even in the running any longer. And there presently exists entire orthodox Islamic societies that are dedicated to destroying the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, as well as refuting the claims of its founder and his successors. The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam is currently headquartered in England, its current leader having fled Pakistan, as he explained, to avoid a possible arrest by the Pakistani government that might have seriously interrupted the activities of that movement. His name is Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, and he is the fourth successor to Ghulam Ahmad.
Despite the various challenging claims of Ghulam Ahmad,
he was not finished: He began to offer his theory about Jesus Christ. It so
happened that one Khalifa Nur Din [or, Noor al-Din] of Jalalpur Jattan, District Gujrat, a loyal follower
of Ghulam Ahmad’s, spoke to him about a tomb
in Srinagar that was said to be the tomb of a prophet named Yuz Asaf. Ghulam
Ahmad instructed him to do some further research into the matter. Nur Din went to Srinagar and stayed there for about four months. He collected
information and also obtained the signatures of 556 inhabitants who attested
to the fact that, according to their traditions, the remains of Jesus Christ
lied in the Roza Bal. He also brought back a sketch of the Roza Bal. Then
Ghulam Ahmad decided to send one of his followers, Maulvi Abdullah, to Kashmir to investigate this
tomb. Maulvi Abdullah arrived in Kashmir, conducted his investigations, and
wrote back to Ghulam Ahmad about his findings. Ghulam Ahmad then published a poster that contained Maulvi
Abdullah’s letter, as well as Maulvi Abdullah’s sketch of the Roza Bal. Below
we present Dr. Zahid Aziz’s translation of Mauvli Abdullah’s letter and Ahmad’s
poster. You will note Maulvi Abdullah’s conclusion that Yuz Asaf, the inhabitant
of the Roza Bal, was none other than Jesus Christ:
“Letter of Maulvi Abdullah,
inhabitant of Kashmir”
(“For the public benefit this is published in this poster
along with a sketch of the tomb of Jesus”)
“From the humble Abdullah
to Huzoor Masih Mau’ood [‘Masih Mau’ood’ means, ‘Promised Messiah’],
“Assalamu alaikum wa
rahmatullah-hi wa barakatu-hu, Holy sir!
“According to your order, this humble one went to that very place in Srinagar, that is, the sacred shrine and tomb of Prince Yuz Asaf, the prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, and tried to make investigations as far as was possible. I spoke to the older and aged people and also made enquiries in every respect from those who frequent the shrine and the people of the locality.
“Dear sir! From these investigations I have discovered that this tomb is, in fact, that of Yuz Asaf, prophet of Allah, peace be upon him. The tomb is located in the neighborhood where Muslims live. No Hindu lives there nor is any Hindu buried there. From the evidence of reliable persons it has been proved that this tomb has been in existence for about 1900 years, and the Muslims hold it in great reverence and respect, and frequent it. The general view is that a venerable messenger is buried in this tomb who came to Kashmir from another country to preach to the people. They say that he lived some 600 years before our Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him.
“So far it is not known why he came here [See footnote 1 below]. But these facts in any case have been proved and have reached the highest degree of certainty through repeated corroborative testimony that this venerable man who has been named Yuz Asaf by the Muslims of Kashmir is a prophet and moreover is a prince. In this country he is not known by any title of the Hindus, such as Raja, Avtar, Rikhi, Omni, Siddah, etc. On the other hand, everyone agrees in calling him nabi. The word nabi is common between the followers of Islam and the Israelites, and as in Islam no prophet came after our Holy Prophet Muhammad, nor could one come, therefore the general Muslims of Kashmir are agreed that this prophet is from before Islam.
“However, they have not yet reached the conclusion that, as the word nabi was common only to the prophets of two nations, that is, the prophets of the Muslims and the Israelites, and in Islam no prophet can come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, this necessarily fixes that he was an Israelite prophet because no third language has ever used this word. Undoubtedly, this common usage is exclusive to only two languages and two nations [See footnote 2]. But because of the ending of prophethood, this excludes the Muslim people. Therefore it is clearly proved that this prophet is an Israelite prophet.
“This first evidence is made even more certain by the historical proof that this prophet lived 600 years before our Holy Prophet, peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, and it forces the intelligent minds to the conclusion that this prophet was Jesus, peace be upon him, and no one else. For, he is the only Israelite prophet who lived 600 years before the Holy Prophet. Moreover, this evidence shines even brighter when we consider the repeatedly occurring information that that prophet was also known as Prince, because during this period no prophet was known as prince except Jesus, peace be upon him.
“Further, the name Yuz Asaf which very much resembles the word Yasu gives yet more strength to all these sure things. By going to that place, another evidence has been discovered. As is apparent from the attached sketch, the grave of this prophet is aligned in the north-south direction, and it appears that the head is towards the north and the feet are towards the south. This manner of burial is particular to the Muslims and the People of the Book [Jews]. Another supporting evidence is that near this tomb a small distance away is a hill known as Mount Sulaiman. This name shows that some Israelite prophet came here [See footnote 3 below]. It is the height of ignorance to consider this prince-prophet to be a Hindu. This is such an error that it does not even need to be refuted in view of these shining proofs.
“The word nabi does not exist anywhere in the Sanskrit language, but is exclusive to Hebrew and Arabic, and burial is not a Hindu practice as the Hindus cremate their dead. Therefore, the form of the grave also provides absolute assurance that that prophet was an Israelite. On the western side of the grave there is a hole. People say that there emanates a very fine fragrance out of this hole. This hole is somewhat wide and reaches inside the grave. From this it is concluded that this hole has been kept for some very important purpose. Probably some things are buried in it by way of records. The ordinary people say that it contains a treasure, but this view does not appear to be credible. However, as it is not a custom in any country to keep such a hole in a grave, this makes us believe that there is some great secret in this hole. It is an even more strange matter that this hole has been in existence for hundreds of years.
“The Shia [of the Shia sect of Islam] people of this city also say that this grave is that of a prophet who came from another country as a traveler and was called by the title of prince. The Shias also showed me a book entitled Ain-ul-Hayat. This book contains a narrative which is quoted on the authority of page 119 of Ibn Babwiyya, the book Ikmal-ud-Din, and Itmam-ul-Ni’mat, but all those narrations are unfounded and senseless tales. The only real fact in this book is that the author accepts that this prophet was a traveler and a prince who came to Kashmir.
“The location of the tomb of this prince-prophet is as follows. When you come from the Jami’a mosque to the street of the Roza Bel Yameen, this sacred shrine will be found ahead there. Behind the left wall of the tomb is a street, and to the right is an old mosque. It appears that this mosque has been built near this shrine in some past age to receive blessing. Besides this mosque are houses of Muslims. There is no sign or trace of any other community. Near the grave of this prophet of Allah in the right-hand corner there is a stone, which has upon it the footprint of a man . It is said that it is the footstep of the messenger. Probably this footprint of this prince-prophet remains as a sign. These two features of this grave are there as a reflection of some hidden secrets: first, the hole which is near the grave, second the footprint engraved on the stone. The rest of the view of the tomb is shown in the attached sketch [End of letter].
“Below is shown the tomb of Isa, peace be upon him, who is also known by the names Yasu, Jesus and Yuz Asaf. According to the testimony of older people in Kashmir, this tomb has existed in the locality Khan Yar of Srinagar for about 1900 years. [Note by Translator: This sketch is on page 171, Ruhani Khaza'in, volume 14]
“The Prophet who lived 600 years before our Holy Prophet, peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, is none other than Jesus, peace be upon him. The change in the form of the word Yasu to become Yuz Asaf is quite credible, for considering that in English [usage] the word Yasu has been made into Jesus, the change to become Yuz Asaf is not more than the change to Jesus. This word has no connection whatsoever with Sanskrit. It appears to be purely Hebrew. As to why Jesus came to this country, the reason is obvious. It is that when the Jews of Palestine did not accept his preaching and attempted to kill him on the cross, then God, in accordance with His promise and also accepting his prayer, granted Jesus deliverance from the cross.
“From what is written in the Gospels, it was in the mind of Jesus to take the message of God to those Jews also who had migrated to the countries in India in the time of the destruction brought about by Nebuchadnezzar. It was to fulfill that purpose that he came to this country. Dr. Bernier, the Frenchman, writes in his Travels that many English researchers have forcefully expressed the view that the Muslims of Kashmir are descendants of the Israelites who came to this country in the times of the dispersal of the Jews. Their oval faces, long tunics, and certain customs are evidence of this. Thus it is highly believable that Jesus, having despaired of the Jews of Palestine, would have come to this country to preach to this nation.
“The Gospel recently written by a Russian traveler, which I have had brought from London, also concurs with my opinion that Jesus certainly came to this country. The accounts of the life of the prophet Yuz Asaf by some writers, whose translations have reached Europe, have put Christian clergymen to great surprise because his teachings much resemble the moral teachings of the Gospels, so much so that many passages appear to be the same. Similarly, the Gospel from Tibet is largely the same as the moral teachings of the Gospels. Therefore, these proofs are not such that a man, with the arrogance of hostility, can refute them at once. On the contrary, the light of truth is to be clearly found in them, and there are so many evidences that looking at them all together leads to the conclusion that this is not a baseless story.
“The name Yuz Asaf resembling Hebrew, Yuz Asaf being known as nabi which is a word applied only to the Israelite and Islamic prophets, this prophet being called prince, this prophet’s qualities being exactly like those of Jesus, his teaching being entirely like the moral teaching of the Gospels, his being buried in the neighborhood of the Muslims, the tomb being said to date back 1900 years, a gospel being uncovered in this age by a European and this gospel clearly proving the coming of Jesus to this country, all these are points which, when considered all together, certainly produce the conclusion that Jesus undoubtedly came to this country and died here. There are so many other evidences in addition to these that I will, Allah willing, write a book devoted to this.” [Author note: Ghulam Ahmad did write this book, and the entire book is on the Internet at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/1340/jesus_in_india.htm.]
“The word nabi is exclusive to only two languages, and is not used in any other language of the world. That is, it occurs (1) in Hebrew and (2) in Arabic. Besides these, none of the other languages of the world have any connection with this word. So this word which is spoken about Yuz Asaf testifies, like an inscription on the tomb, that this man is either an Israelite prophet or an Islamic prophet. But after the ending of prophethood, no further prophet can come in Islam. Therefore it is settled that he was an Israelite prophet. Considering the time that has been mentioned (as to when he lived), it is decided conclusively that he is Jesus, peace be upon him, and it was he who was known as prince.
“It is not necessary
that by Sulaiman is meant the prophet Sulaiman, but it appears that there
must have been a leader of the Israelites, whose name was Sulaiman, after
whom this hill was called. It is a custom of the Jews, till the present day,
that they give names after the names of prophets. In any case, this name also
provides proof that the Jewish people have been in Kashmir, for whom it was
essential that Jesus come to Kashmir.”
[The reader will note that in Note 2 above, Ghulam Ahmad states that no prophet can come after Muhammad. Therefore, the inhabitant of the Roza Bal must have been a Jewish prophet. Later, though, as his followers believe, and as Ghulam Ahmad explained, God had repeatedly told Ghulam Ahmad that He (God) had appointed Ghulam Ahmad as a follower-prophet of Muhammad. Ahmadiyya literature reflects that Ghulam Ahmad himself seemed quite stunned by these revelations from God, because, just as other Muslims, he had understood Islam to teach that there could be no prophet of any type coming after Muhammad].
Any such tomb would have drawn the interest of any devout Muslim. Ghulam Ahmad began studying the local traditions of the people of Kashmir, both oral and written, and discovered that these traditions, as we saw in the above letter from Maulvi Abdullah, quite matter-of-factly referred to the Roza Bal as the tomb of “Nabi Isa” (Prophet Jesus). Apparently, the Muslim in the streets didn’t believe Jesus to be in heaven, as was taught by the orthodox clergy. In fact, the Ahmadiyya publication, Review of Religions, recorded the following in its October, 1909 edition:
“The most remarkable thing about the tomb is that it is known not only as the tomb of Nabi Sahib, but also as that of Isa Sahib (Jesus). Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, son of the Promised Messiah [referring to Ghulam Ahmad], paid a visit to the tomb in July last; and when he asked an old woman, the last survivor of a long line of the hereditary attendants of the tomb, whose tomb it was, she replied: ‘It is the tomb of Isa [Jesus] Sahib.’ Being asked why she called it the tomb of Isa Sahib, while the Maulvis [Islamic clergy] believed Isa to be in the heavens, she said, ‘Let them believe what they will. The name [Isa] is the one which we have been hearing from our forefathers.’”
What we find very interesting about this account is the fact that prior to the eventual authorship and publication of Ghulam Ahmad’s book, Jesus In India, there had been no fuss over this tomb of “Isa Sahib.” The name Isa is the word used in the Islamic scripture, the Quran, for Jesus, and also in Buddhist works. This woman, from what we can gather, nor anyone else in the area, had never attempted to make a big issue of the fact that Isa, Jesus Christ, lay in the Roza Bal. There existed no anti-Christian organization or anti-Christian movement that, for instance, was attempting to strike at Christianity “in the name of Islam.” No one in the area had been making any attempt to announce this to the world. The fact that “Isa Sahib” lay in the Roza Bal was nothing extraordinary to the people, other than the fact that he was considered a prophet. This, in our view, lends quite a bit of strength to this Kashmiri tradition, as there is no ulterior motive attached to this tradition. In the tomb link, we will quote at length from a number of the actual ancient documents that mention the sojourn of Jesus Christ throughout Asia and on to Kashmir.