By Shahid Pervaiz
“The Elephant” in the room is not the doctrines ascribed to Christianity, Lahori Group or Ghamedi Sahib.
“The REAL” Elephant is that “ALL” mainstream religions (of course Islam included) profess the COMING OF A REFORMER IN THE LATTER DAYS; yet, a majority of Muslims (except Shiites) since about a century past are wrangling the concept.
Few example, the “Promised Reformer to come in Latter Days” according to various religions:
|Judaism||Messiah after re-coming of Prophet Elijah|
|Christianity||Messiah of latter days|
|Islam||Re-coming of Prophet Jesus son of Mary|
According to the Shiite belief, there are 12 Imams and here is the description of the 12th:
|12||Muhammad ibn al-Hasan
محمد بن الحسن
|al-Mahdi, Hidden Imam, al-Hujjah
(The Guided One, The Proof)
|According to Twelver Shi’ite doctrine, he is an actual historical personality and is the current Imam and the promised Mahdi, a messianic figure who will return with Christ. He will reestablish the rightful governance of Islam and replete the earth with justice and peace.|
In other words the Shiites are also awaiting the second coming of a reformer, al-Mahdi.
“The Elephant” was first “carved” and then “pushed” in to the room by Sunni Philosophers in absolute contradiction to their “traditional belief” about second coming, towards the start of 1800s.
Sunni belief consists of two schools of thought, namely (1) Deuband and (2) Barelvi.
Deuband’s founder the Maulana Qasim Nanotvi was a staunch advocate of the “coming of the promised reformer” in near future in India. Barelvi school; as followers of Ahmed Raza Khan Sahib of Barelvi came into being in much later years – as an opponent force to the rigid practices of Deuband. They coincide in chronology with the proclamation of being “the promised reformer of latter days” by the founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian.
The Sunni Muslims through the nineteenth century continued to believe and profess that a reformer of the Latter Days is about to come, as was prophesied by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, may peace be on him, to be a Prophet, namely Jesus son of Mary.
Other Muslim Sects such as Ahle Hadith (wahabis) and Ahle Quran maintained the same (above) belief.
Some of them like Nawab Siddique Hassan Sahib of Bhopal (the noble husband of Begum Shahjehan – the ruler of Bhopal), was a foremost Ahle Hadith to profess (based upon his research of the Hadith, chronology and other religious references) that the promised reformer of the Latter Days is just about to come in India.
This belief (which was common among Sunnies and other Muslim sects) took a full “U Turn” when Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian proclaimed to have received the divine revelation of being the reformer of the Latter Days.
From then on, the “Amended Belief,” which came to public ears that “No prophethood of any stature could come” and “New Meanings” of “Khatme Nabuwat” were coined; which was repeatedly used for political gains by Deuband Clergy, in British India as well as in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Despite the fact that the Prophet of Islam had elaborated the re-coming of Prophet Elijah to be the advent of Prophet John the Baptist and that he had seen Jesus son of Mary amongst the dead during the night of Meraj, his spiritual journey to heaven; and that Death is inevitable for everyone including himself and, “The Dead are NOT sent back to this world.”
The Fallacy is that a Metaphorical Narrative in the Hadith, about the Latter Days, was (then) made into a “Perfect Literation.”
Historical Evidence to the “Original Muslim Belief” is that right after the holy demise of the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be on him, when some of the Muslim leaders denied his demise, the Quranic Reference presented to them by the first Caliph of Islam, Abu Bakr, to which everyone agreed was “Verily, all Messengers have passed away before him. The Quran says:
And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, all Messengers have passed away before him. If then he die or be slain, will you turn back on your heels? And he who turns back on his heels shall not harm Allah at all. And Allah will certainly reward the grateful. (Al Quran 3:145)
Irony of ironies is that had Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian not proclaimed to be “the Reformer of Latter days” as the one promised to bear the traits of Jesus son of Mary like John the Baptist bore the traits of Elijah; the Sunni Scholars wouldn’t have Carved the Elephant?