I LIKE THE FOLLOWING INTRODUCTION TO the first chapter of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s publication of 1899. Please note I have avoided all suffixes of Peace be on him in reference to holy prophets. It states:
“Let it be noted that though Christians believe that Jesus after his arrest through the betrayal of Judas Iscariot, and crucifixion – and resurrection – went to the heavens, yet from the Holy Bible, it appears that this belief of theirs is altogether wrong. […] The truth rather is, that as Jesus was a true prophet and as he knew that God, whose beloved he was, would save him from an accursed death, he made a prophecy in the form of a parable, revealed to him by God, in which he hinted that he wouldn’t die on the Cross, nor would he give up the ghost on the accursed wood; on the contrary, like the prophet Jonah, he would only pass through a state of swoon.
In the parable he had also hinted that he would come out of the bowels of the earth and would then join people and, like Jonah, would be honoured by them. So this prophecy was fulfilled; for Jesus, coming out of the bowels of the earth, went to his tribes who lived in the eastern countries, Kashmir, and Tibet etc. viz. the then ten tribes of the Israelites who, 721 years before Jesus, had been taken prisoner from Samaria by Shalmaneser, King of Assur, and had been taken away by him.
Ultimately, these tribes came to India and settled in various parts of this country. And Jesus, at all events, must have made this journey, for the divine object underlying his advent was to meet the lost Jews who had settled in different parts of India; the reason being that these in fact were the lost sheep of Israel who had given up even their ancestral faith in these countries, and most of whom had adopted Buddhism, relapsing into idolatry. Dr. Bernier, on the authority of a number of learned people, states in his travels that the Kashmiris in reality are the Jews who in the time of the dispersal in the days of the King of Assur had migrated to this country.”
He further states:
“Apart from this, it was necessary that he should escape death on the Cross, for it was stated in the Holy Book that whoever was hanged on the wood was accursed. And it is a cruel and an unjust blasphemy to attribute a curse to an eminent person like Jesus the Messiah,* for, according to the agreed view of all who knew the language, Ia’nat, or curse, has reference to the state of one’s heart.
[..] Alas! Christians did not ponder over the significance of a curse when they invented this belief; else it were impossible for them to have used such a bad word for a righteous man like Jesus. […] Just look through the Bible; therein Jesus clearly claims that he is the Light of the world, that he is the Guide, and that he stands in a relation of great love towards God; and that he had been honoured by a clean birth, and that he is the loved Son of God. How then, in spite of these pure and holy relations, can a curse with all its significance, be attributed to Jesus? No, never. Therefore there is no doubt that Jesus was not crucified, i.e., he did not die on the Cross, for his personality did not deserve the underlying consequence of death on the Cross.
Therefore when it is proved that has neither accursed, nor did he go to hell for three days, not did he suffer death, the other part of the scheme, namely that he went to the heavens, is proved to be wrong. On this point the Bible has more arguments which I proceed to state below. One of them is the statement of Jesus: “But after I am risen again, I will go before you to Galilee.” This verse clearly shows that Jesus, after had come out of the tomb, went to Galilee and not to the heavens.
[…] To think he died is wrong. It is true that in the books of the New Testament word of this kind occur, but this is the mistake of the writers of these books, just as they had committed mistakes in recording several other historical events. Commentators who have made researched into these books admit that the books of the New Testament have two parts: (1) the spiritual instruction received b the disciples from Jesus which is the essence of the teachings of the Gospel; (2) historical events – like the genealogy of Jesus; his arrest and his being beaten; the existence in his time of a miraculous pond, etc.
These the writers recorded by themselves;** they are not revealed; rather they were set down in accordance with the writer’s own ideas. In some places here are undue exaggerations, as were it is stated that if all the miracles and works of Jesus are recorded in books, the earth would not be able to accommodate these books. How exaggerated is this statement!
After all that has been stated, it should be kept in mind that in the gospel of Barnabas, which must be available in the British Museum, it is stated that Jesus was not crucified, nor did not die on the Cross. […] I have already stated that a prophet cannot lie. Jesus compared his three days, stay in the tomb to the three days of Jonah in the whale.
In short, the verse I have just quoted shows that Jesus after coming our of the tomb went to Galilee, And the gospel of St. Mark says that after coming out of the tomb he was seen going on the road to Galilee. and he ultimately said to them:
“Behold my hands and my feet, that it is myself; handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” He took from them boiled fish and a piece of honeycomb and ate them in their presence.
These verses show that it is certain that Jesus never went to th heavens; rather, coming out of the tomb he went to Galilee; – like ordinary men, in the usual clothes, with a human body. If he had been resurrected after death, how was it that this body of spirit could still have borne the wounds inflicted upon him on the Cross? What need had he to eat? And if he required food then, he must be in need of food even now.
(Pages 21-30 out of 144)
I like the introduction for reasons that must be clear, and for most of which I reserve my constitutional right to remain silent. There are 114 more of these pages at the end of which I am assured of their veracity by the author’s *** claim on P.18 he is the ‘light of this dark age; he who follows me will be saved from falling into the pit prepared by the Devil for those who walk in darkness. I have been sent by God to lead the people of the world to the true God through peace and humility, and to reassert the reign of morals in Islam.’
This book was originally written in Urdu, and marked the end of an era in which for centuries Muslims and Christians had believed in the ascension of Jesus to Heaven. It was the first book ever written on the subject with such a rational approach. “The book produced the most profound impact. Its arguments are broadcast and in the past half-century it has achieved remarkable success in divesting Jesus of false appurtenances of divinity and let in presenting him to the world merely as a divine prophet as he actually was.” (Taken from the Introduction written in 1964 just before it was given to me.) “In Muslim circles, the effect was so marked that the Rector of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo issued a Fatwa (verdict) that according to the Holy Qu’ran Jesus had died a natural death. Its effect on the Christian mind has also been greatly disturbing.
In other words, this book changed Islam.
We have many hooks here. I”ll give you a few: (1) This is a book of pure rationale. (2) It makes many unsupported premises and naive assumptions. (3) The author’s own branch of mystical Islam, Sufism, would spin the entire theory into a dervish. (4) This is just a story – a mentation (5) Advaita Vedanta has a very different interpretation – mine.
Did it happen? How do we know? How do we know? I’ll address this in Part III because this author is in need of food even now …
Selima Gurtler is a spiritual writer, philosopher, poet and Jnana yogi.
Her modern teachings to Self-Realization and Liberation are uniquely flavoured through the perceptive eyes of her Indian and European heritage.
Free copies of her books are available for download here: https://www.emwpeace.org/publications/
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and His Grace Archbishop Desmond Tutu are patrons of her work.
- * Interesting he calls him the Messiah.
- ** There is the implication also that Jesus’ main disciples were simple fishermen and possibly illiterate who could not explain phenomena.
- *** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirza_Ghulam_Ahmad
Image by CCO at https://pixabay.com/en/users/liaoyiye-3359114/