An American couple who were from Chicago after visiting various countries came to India, to experience its culture and religions. On 7th April 1908 they visited Qadian with another Scotsman named Mr Bancer. They desired to meet the Promised Messiahas and were welcomed and seated in the offices below Mubarak Mosque. The Promised Messiahas came, Deputy Ali Ahmad Sahib first and later, Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra interpreted the conversation.
Question: We have heard that you had issued some challenge to Mr. Dowie. Is this correct?
Answer: Yes, it is correct. I did challenge Dowie.
Question: What was the basis for your challenge?
Answer: Dowie had claimed that he was a Messenger of God and God had informed him through revelation that Jesus was the Son of God and was, indeed, God himself; that Jesus himself had given him this revelation in his capacity as God; that Islam would (God forbid) perish; and that Muhammadsas was (God forbid) a false prophet. God had informed me through His revelation that Jesus was neither God nor the Son of God, that he was only a pious man and a Messenger, and that Dowie is false in this claim of his being a Messenger; for, it is absolutely impossible that two Prophets exist at one and the same time sent by the very same One God, yet who are diametrically opposed to one another and are treading opposing paths. As this would have resulted
in chaos in the world and the distinction between truth and falsehood would have been lost, I challenged him so as to settle the issue of who is truthful and who is the imposter.
Although there are many in this world who believe Jesus to be the Son of God and even the One God [Himself], their condition is not so pitiable because those concepts and doctrines are based only upon longstanding erroneous and fabricated narratives and tales, and those people are following traditional accounts. In contrast, Dowie imputed a lie to God with this claim of his. He had, thus, attempted to mislead the masses through attributing a false claim to God. He actually used to say that God had personally informed him of it. He was misguiding people by proclaiming—in his capacity as a ‘prophet’of God—that Jesus is the Son of God and God. This is indeed the reason why I gave him the challenge to resolve this.
Question: Dowie had made a false claim as he could not prove his truth. And it is written in the Bible that false prophets would appear in the Latter Days. This being the case, what is the proof of the truth of your claim?
Answer: The Promised Messiahas said: ‘Where it is written in the Bible that there would appear many false prophets, the coming of a true Prophet is not negated there. It is not writ-
ten that the true Prophet would not come. On the contrary, appearance of false prophets itself implies that there would also be, among them, a true one.
Question: Jesus raised the dead. Thus, it is proven that a person was raised. And the Bible was recorded in written form very soon after the death of Jesus. And the raising of the dead by anyone else is not proven. Therefore, this testimony is enough proof and evidence of his claim.
Answer: The Holy Quran also mentions the raising of the dead at the hands of the Holy Prophetsas. But we believe that the raising of the dead by the Holy Prophetsas was in a spiritual sense and not in a physical sense. Similarly, we believe that the raising of the dead by Jesus as was also in a spiritual sense and not in a physical manner. Moreover, this phenomenon is not peculiar to Jesus as alone. It is written in the Bible that Prophet Elijah also raised some of the dead. In fact, he far excelled Jesus as in the matter. Even if we concede it as a remote possibility that the Bible refers to the raising of actually dead people, then we are forced to accept Prophet Elijah as a God too. So, what distinction of Jesus is there in this? And how is it the differentiating feature? In fact, it is written about the Prophet Isaiah that the dead would come to life just by coming in contact with his body. It is clearly evident from all these accounts that are recorded in the same Bible that raising the dead cannot be an argument for the Divinity of Jesus as. But if it is accepted as proof, then why should others who surpassed Jesus in this work, not be accepted as Gods as well? Why should Divinity be restricted and reserved solely for the person of Jesus?
In fact, in my view, the miracle of Moses as in converting his staff into a snake, is far greater than raising the dead. The dead and the living have some similarity and likeness because it is the same person who was alive not long ago. One can argue that perhaps the dead person had some possibility of being revived. In contrast, a snake has no similarity or relationship with a staff. A staff is of the nature of a plant and a snake is a snake. Thus, for a staff to become a snake is a far more amazing phenomenon than bringing the dead back to life. Therefore, Moses as should be accepted as a greater God. The truth and reality is, however, that I do not subscribe to the notion that those who were really dead were brought back to life.
Question: Jesus is eternal and everlasting. He is still living and is sitting on the right hand of God at this moment. No prophet has come after him having these distinctions.
Answer: I absolutely reject the notion that anyone can raise the physically dead, as is said in the Holy Quran:
فَیُمۡسِکُ الَّتِیۡ قَضٰی عَلَیۡہَا الۡمَوۡتَ
And as far as your claims are concerned, I cannot accept them without evidence. In addition to him raising the dead, his being himself eternal and everlasting, being still alive, and being now seated on the right hand of God, these are all further claims in support of which you have not presented any evidence. Instead of providing evidence, you have proceeded to make another claim. I believe Jesus as also to be a Prophet of God like other Prophets. I accept that those who are true and sincere in the way of God, have a place of nearness to Him. Just as God has used the word ‘sons’ for those who are His servants and sincere to Him; in this way, Jesus as is included among them. Jesus as did not have any great power that other Prophets did not have, nor did he have anything new which others were lacking. If Jesus as had the power to raise the physically dead, then even now some follower of his should demonstrate it by raising the dead. Let us set aside the raising of the dead—let such a one show any sign in competition with me. Look, a man can advance in [spiritual] degrees within the
scope and form of a man, not that he can also become God. When it is absolutely impossible for him to become God, why provide an example that he cannot benefit from? Human beings need a human example. And they always come to the world from God in the form of Prophets. What is not needed is God as a role model. It cannot be emulated as it is outside and beyond human capability. I am perplexed. Did God desire human beings to become God and is that why He chose to send God as a role model? Even more peculiar is that he [ Jesus], despite being God, suffered so much humiliation and ignominy at the hands of the Jews. He could not overpower them. Instead, he was prevailed upon.
Question: What are the arguments for the veracity of the claim that you have made?
Answer: I am not any novel Prophet. Hundreds of Prophets have come before me. The Prophets who are mentioned in the Torah and whom you believe to be true—the arguments that exist in support of their truth and of their being Prophets and appointees of God, you should present those, and those same arguments will prove the veracity of my claim. The arguments by which any true Prophet can be accepted are those very arguments that support my being true as well. I, too, have come in the manner of the Prophets.
Question: No! We would rather hear from you those arguments which convinced you of your veracity. Moreover, how did you know that you are a Prophet?
Answer: God Almighty has given me this knowledge by speaking to me. Those who come from God Almighty are accompanied by Divine Signs which are bestowed upon them in the form of powerful prophecies reflecting the Omnipotence [of God] and contain [news of] the unseen. No enemy can succeed against them. Despite their weakness, helplessness, lack of resources and means, and lack of friends and helpers, victory is ultimately theirs, whereas every mention and sign of those who oppose them is erased completely. Out of thousands of Signs, the incident of Dowie, which transpired in your own country, should be sufficient for you should you ponder upon it. He claimed that Jesus was God. On the other hand, my God revealed to me that Jesus was not God—he was merely a humble human being. I corresponded
with him about this issue but he did not withdraw his claim. After receiving the news from God, I eventually prophesied his death and misfortune that had to be fulfilled during my lifetime, and it did transpire accordingly. He perished in terrible ignominy and misfortune during the lifetime of the truthful one in conformity with the prophecy. Now, a reflective mind and a receptive heart is needed to ponder whether this prophecy does or does not deserve to be believed as having a Divine origin or is it some human contrivance. Secondly, your coming here is itself a Sign in my favour. Had you been aware of it, you might have had distress and hesitation about coming here. Indeed, your travelling such a long distance and coming to this small town is also in accordance with a prophecy, and is a Sign and proof for my truthfulness. Qadian and America are worlds apart!
Set aside ‘raising the dead’, even a leper could not be cured. Jesus could not heal even a leper—what does it say about him raising the dead! Those things happened thousands of years ago. God only knows how much those accounts have been adulterated. They now remain as mere stories and fables. Had there been any evidence of their veracity or had there been any relics of their truth, there might have been some way of accepting them. Now they are just talk and mere claims. On the other hand, I present a contemporary and living example.
Question: Anyone could have guessed the end of Dowie as he made a false claim. And it is a straightforward thing that a false claimant gets disgraced. We have come here because of the magnitude of your lofty claim to see the kind of person you are who has made such a grand claim. We have not come to become a Sign for you.
Answer: The Promised Messiahas said: If you considered Dowie to be what you now say he was and knew that he was an imposter in his claim and that he was imputing false claims to God—was it with this conviction that you people gave him gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and sent him expensive presents from far-off places,
and bestowed tremendous prestige upon him, and more than 10,000 became his followers? It is strange that one would give such honour and acclaim to—and sacrifice his wealth and life for—someone despite being convinced that he is an imposter.
For the second issue [raised in your question] they should be apprised that there was a time when not a single person was acquainted with me. No one even knew of my existence. There were very few people who might have been familiar with the name of ‘Qadian’ at that time. I did not receive even a letter
from anyone. I was in a state of anonymity. It was in that period
that I received the following revelation from Allah the Exalted:
یأتُوْنَ مِنْ کُلِّ فَجِِّ عَمِیْقِِ
[‘People will come to you so that the track will become
deep due to excessive travel.’]
یَاْتِیْکَ مِنْ کُلِّ فَجّ عَمِیْقِِ۔ وَلَا تُصَعِّرْ لِخَلْق ِ اللّٰہ ِ وَلَا تَسْئَمْ مِنَ النَّاسِ
[‘Help will come to you by every distant track. Do not turn away from Allah’s creatures and be not fatigued by people.’]
There were some revelations of the same theme in the English language as well, although I am totally unfamiliar with the English language. These are tidings from a time when there were no indications that they could come true. Those who saw and know my circumstances of that time can appreciate that no one could expect or even imagine the possibility of such things under those conditions. Moreover, after these revelations, everyone—that is, my own people and others like the Christians and Hindus etc.—became my enemies. Despite all these things, the support of Allah the Exalted always stayed with me and He helped me in such wonderful ways that now there are 400,000 or perhaps even more people with me.
They come from far-off places. Gifts and presents and cash and materials that were promised in the revelation of God Almighty were all fulfilled and continue to be fulfilled. Prophecies should be examined with all their details in the perspective of the time and circumstances prevalent at the time the prophecies were made, and then one should see their end as to how emphatically and majestically they were fulfilled. Show an example of this in the life history of someone who fabricated lies against God. If you refuse to accept this prophecy of mine, then show a precedent where someone who had fabricated lies against God and achieved such a rise without having the support and help of God.’
Abdus Salam, the son of Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra was standing close to the Promised Messiahas. The Promised Messiahas held his hand and presented him to the guests and said: ‘Explain it to them that if, for example, this boy makes a prophecy today in his present state that he would live to be seventy years old, or that hundreds of thousands of people would come from far-off places to see him, or he foretells news of some other major event—then would such prophecies be credulous given his present circumstances? Or if, suppose, all that he said in this condition came to pass at some point in time, would anyone dare call him a liar? Or would anyone have the right to say that he achieved it due to some human planning and contrivance?
After this much discourse of the Promised Messiahas, they conceded that prophecies can serve as a proof to validate a claim.
Question: We would like to hear some other arguments too.
Answer: The Promised Messiahas said: ‘Another argument is the acceptance of prayers.’ At this time Sahibzadah Abdul Hayye, the son of Hazrat Hakeem Maulawi Noor-ud-Deen, may Allah be pleased with him, was also present near the Promised Messiahas. Hazrat Hakeem Noor-ud-Deen moved him forward and the Promised Messiahas held him by the arm
and presented him to the guests and said: There was an adversary of Maulawi Sahib. He had claimed that Maulawi Sahib was abtar [one without issue] and had even issued a public announcement to the same effect. Thereupon, I prayed and my prayer found acceptance in the presence of God and I was informed that a son would be born and his distinction would be that he would have pustules on his body. This took place six years before his birth. Thus, by the grace of God, a son was born and he developed pustules on his body whose scars are still there. Besides this, there are thousands of other examples of acceptance of my prayers.
Question: What is the purpose of your advent and now what is expected to happen in the future?
Answer: The Promised Messiahas said: ‘The purpose of my advent is to rectify the errors (whether they relate to practice or doctrine) that have developed in Christians, Hindus, and Muslims. You yourself should inform us whether you think Christianity in Europe is in its original form, or whether the Christians are following even a single speck of the teachings of the Torah or Injil [Gospel]. What is the practical lifestyle of the whole of Europe saying to us? Do these people, in their hearts, even believe in God? Do they even have any fear of God?’
(In response to these statements, the guests unequivocally admitted that neither the teachings of the Torah were being followed in reality nor was the practical condition of Europe commendable.)
The Promised Messiahas said:
I have been informed by God that Jesusas was a chosen servant of God and a Prophet. It is not that he was the only such example and then God did not bestow His blessing on anyone and closed the door of such blessings forever. Rather, the God whose majesty is sublime and who is the only God of all nations, has bestowed His blessings upon all nations as well.
Look, the Torah has been abandoned. Its teaching are not heeded at all. Thousands of errors have found their way into it. Disrespect is shown to the lofty status of Jesus as by making him God unjustifiably. Was it not enough that he should have been accepted and followed as an elect of God, and his example and his character were adopted by following in his footsteps?
It is not for man to become God—so why would he be given such examples? When an example is provided to someone, the purpose of the one who provides the example is to invite people to try to emulate the example. And it is also implied that it is within the capacity of the person to make progress according to the example provided. God is the Creator of human nature and has full knowledge of human faculties. God knows He has not endowed human faculties the ability to become God—so how did He make such an egregious error that He obligated man to do something that He had not given man the capacity to accomplish? Would this not be manifest injustice?
Man has the ability to progress to the rank of Messenger and Prophet, as this is within human capacity. Therefore, if Jesus as was God, his advent becomes futile. However, if he is accepted as a Prophet and a Messenger, it becomes purposeful. Moreover, this [‘Divinity’ of Jesus] is an affront and insult to God Almighty because it means God was miserly. He appointed only one individual to be the manifestation of His glory, He confined His bounties only to Jesusas . Think about it is it a compliment or is it an affront to a king to say that he only has one subject? How would it be complimentary to say that the beneficence and favours of this king are confined only to one individual? Moreover, why did God Almighty restrict His bounties to the Israelites while there were tens of millions of His servants present in different countries of the world? Look, even stagnant water ultimately spoils. Due to admixture with sludge, it develops a foul odour. To falsely accuse God that His blessings and bounties are restricted and limited only to one specific nation, is an affront and disrespectful to the glory of God. What is the benefit of making Jesus into a God anyway and how does it enhance his glory? On the contrary, it is disrespectful and an affront to him. Manliness would be to do what he did, and to demonstrate by acting upon his teachings and by setting a noble example—that he was indeed himself a great man and that his breath had the effect of purifying [the soul] and his teachings had the strength to guide people to the highest level.
What is the benefit of exaggeration in verbal praise?
Moreover, was the effect of his teachings limited to his own time or does it still exist? If it does, where and in which country? It is regrettable that if Jesus as were to return now, he could not even recognize these people. I have love for him. You probably don’t have love for him because you don’t know him. I, on the other hand, have seen him many a time. In fact, I know that there is disagreement and discord among your own selves.
There are some sects among Christians even to this day who do not consider Jesus as to be God. They only believe that he was an esteemed Prophet of God. This is what is established by the Holy Quran as well. So, when there is division within your own home [on this point], why not adopt the path that leads to peace? And why is that path not abandoned which by all accounts has proven to be perilous? As for what lies in the future for this world, I consider it sufficient to say that the world shall not remain in its present state. A momentous change and revolution will take place in it.
Question: In what way have you seen Jesus? Have you seen him in a physical form?
Answer: The Promised Messiahas said: ‘Yes, in the physical form and in a fully awake state.’
Question: We, too, have seen Jesus and see him but that is in the spiritual sense. Did you see him in the same way that we do?
Answer: No, I have seen him in the physical form and seen him while awake.
After this discourse, the Promised Messiahas said: ‘Tea is ready for them. They should be served the tea.’ This is how the gathering ended. The English guests expressed their
gratitude and after having some snacks and tea, went to see the school. There, a senior class student, Muhammad Manzur Ali Shakir, melodiously recited a few verses of Surah Maryam as this was time for the study of the Holy Quran [in the school]. The guests enjoyed the recitation of the Holy Quran and subsequently left for Batala.
While having the snacks at the dinner table, they asked Hazrat Mufti Muhammad Sadiqra as to what would happen after the demise of Mirza Sahib [the Promised Messiahas]. Mufti Sahib replied, ‘Whatever will be the will of God and whatever always happens after the death of Prophets—the same shall happen after his demise.’
 Bible 1 Kings 17:17-24
 Bible 2 Kings 13:21
 Then He retains those against which He has decreed death (Surah az-Zumar,39:43).
 Al-Hakam, vol. 12, no. 26, p. 1–4, dated 10 April 1908/ Malfuzat Volume 10 P.267-281
‘A Warning to a Pretender to Divinity’
Revival of Faith: A Universal Search for a Reformer