On February 13th, 1835, in the small Indian village of Qadian, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) was born to a well-known and noble family.

His advent came at a time prophesied by all the major religions for the arrival of a special individual, who would come as a reformer in the latter days. The Hindus were awaiting the re-advent of Krishnaas[1], and the Zoroastrians the coming of Victorious Saoshyant.[2] The Prophet Buddhaas predicted the arrival of Metteyya.[3]  Meanwhile the Jews had been waiting for over three thousand years for the descent of Elijahas to be followed by a Jewish Prophet[4] and  Christians looked forward to  the reappearance of Jesus.[5]

In Islam, Muslims too were desperately awaiting the arrival of a promised Mahdi and Messiah. The advent of the Promised Messiahas had been prophesized by the Holy Prophetas himself. [6]According to a tradition, he was sitting among his companions, when these two verses from Surah al Jum’uah were revealed to him.

“He it is Who has raised among the unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves who recites unto them His Signs, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and Wisdom though before that they were in manifest error; And He will raise him among others of them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise.”[7]

One of the companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) questioned to who this verse related to, and the Prophet of Islam(sa) replied while putting his hand on Salman(ra), a Persian man,

“If faith were to go up to the Pleiades, a man from among these would surely find it.”[8]

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) claimed to be that Promised Reformer of the later age.

As a child his father, who nicknamed him ’Maseetar’ meaning ‘one who spends most of his time in a mosque observing prayer due to his keen interest in Islam.

He started to receive revelations from God from an early age, as well as visions and true dreams. In 1864 or 1865, the Promised Messiah(as) had a vision where he saw the Holy Prophet(sa), demonstrating his strong connection with the Prophet of Islam(sa). Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) was shown that he would have a fruitful spiritual future.

The end of the 19th century was a dark and painful time for the Muslims which was the result of their religious and temporal decline. Faith and righteous deeds which had been instrumental in the spread of Islam had now almost diminished. Islam was left in name only. Anti-Islamic movements were burgeoning with the aim of humiliating the name of Islam and ridding the world of its greatness. Islam necessitated a reformer who would defend Islam against external attacks from Christians, Arya Samajists and Bramho Samajists. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) did this by setting forth the excellence of Islamic teachings in his articles which were published in many newspapers and journals. His earliest article appeared in Manshur Muhammadi which used to be published every ten days from Bangalore, Mysore, South India. However it was his book, Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya first published in 1880 that truly displayed the treasure of knowledge which God had bestowed him with. 

In Braheen-e-Ahmadiyya Vol 1 he put forward a challenge to the follower of any religion that if, on behalf of their faith, they could present one-half, or one-fourth or even one-fifth of the excellences that he himself proposed to produce as the basis of Islam, then he would give the “one who duly responds to this challenge the possession and the right to make use of my property worth ten thousand rupees”.[9]

The revelations and visions continued, until in 1882 he received the revelation which made it clear that he, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) , was to be the appointed one, the one commissioned by God to serve His cause. In 1885 The Promised Messiahas announced that he was the Promised Reformer for the 14th century. This announcement was published in Urdu and translated into English. Eight thousand copies were sent as registered letters to the religious leaders, rulers, scholars, judges and theorists in Asia, Europe, America and wherever it was possible to be sent by post. The announcement invited representatives of religions and other prominent members of society to come and witness the truthfulness of Islam at Qadian.[10]

If a sign was not witnessed within a year, a sum of two hundred rupees per month, two thousand four hundred rupees for a year would be paid as compensation to such an individual.[11] Among the receipts of this announcement were the head of the Theosophical Society Henry Steel Olcott, who published this invitation in the September issue of his journal ‘The Theosophist’ and  Mr Charles Bradlaugh, a political activist and atheist who found the National Secular Society in 1866, at the time of receiving this invitation was serving as the liberal MP of Northampton.

Qadian was a remote and unknown village in the Indian province of Punjab. At the time of the Promised Messiah,as access to Qadian was difficult and only possible by means of mules and horses. In fact, people preferred to walk to Qadian because of the uneven paths. A time when only a few people knew him, he was informed by Allah the Almighty through a revelation that فکاد ان یعرف بین الناس  “Therefore, he will soon be made well- known among people” The Promised Messiahas was also informed that یاتون من کل فج عمیق “Many people will  come to you that the track on which they travel will become deep274 indeed many travelled from within India to Qadian and accepted the Promised Messiahas. There were others who travelled from, or belonged to distant lands of Europe and America who also came to Qadian and met the Promised Messiahas. Some came seeking the truth and were blessed and went on to accept the Imam of the age. Others came out of curiosity and for the research purposes.  

In 1891 the Promised Messiahas published three books, Fath-e-Islam(The Victory of Islam), Taudih-e-Maram (Elucidation of Objectives) and Izala-e-Auham (The Removal of Misconceptions). In these books, he claimed to be the Promised Messiah and denounced the ascension and the descent of Jesusas by proving his demise. His entire life up until his death in 1908 was spent defending Islam and establishing its superiority through literary work, debates and interfaith dialogues and most importantly proving that Islam is a living religion through the demonstration of heavenly signs.

In 1905, through the book al-Wassiyat (The Will), Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad(as) informed his community that according to divine revelations, his demise was near. The Promised Messiah(as) informed about community’s future under the  blessed institution of Khilafat calling it Allah’s “second manifestation”. He explained this through the example of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), who was chosen by Allah to lead the Muslims as the first Khalifa of Islam following the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa). As per the revelations he had been receiving about his demise he passed away on May 26, 1908. Yet his legacy as the founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, continues to prevail throughout the world today through the blessed institution of Khilafat.

[1] Gita 4:7-8

[2] Iran Und Turfan by Christiane Reck & Peter Zieme P.72

[3] Buddha; his life, his doctrine, his order by Oldenberg, Hermann, 1854-1920 P.142, 327

[4] Daniel 9:24–27

[5] Matthew 24:1-31

[6] Sahih Bukhari, Prophets, Book 60 Hadith 119 (In-book Reference)

[7] Quran, Al-Jumu`ah 62:3-4

[8] Sahih al-Bukhari 4897

[9] Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Part 1 P.49

[10] Majmua Ishtiharat P.20-21, 1989 Edition

[11] Majmua Ishtiharat Vol 1 P.20-22, 1989 edition/Ruhani Khazaen Vol 6 Shahada-tul-Quran P.