Death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

The death of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, an Indian who claimed to be a prophet, a messiah and a spiritual reincarnation of Jesus in 1908, due to dysentery sparked further controversy surrounding the validity of his claims and prophecies. His opponents allege that he died an "accursed death" and that some of his predictions and prophecies turned out to be untrue due to the manner and timing of his death and hence invalidate his rank and station and prove him false in his claim. His followers claim that both the manner and timing of his death were in accordance with all of his relevant predictions, and hence reaffirm his truthfulness and claims.


Circumstances of his death

At the time of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's death, the recorded cause of death was complications arising from severe diarrhea.[1][2]

Opponents' reactions

When the news of his death spread in Lahore, a crowd of opponents gathered outside the house. It is reported that much jubilation was displayed and a mock funeral was arranged for the entertainment of the crowd.[3] Some Muslim opponents of Ahmadiyya claim that his death, which they allege as being a result of cholera, was accursed and his terminal disease a sign of wrath of God,[4][5] which he mentioned in his own writings would be the punishment for a liar: "...punishment which is not by human hands but only at the hands of God, such as Plague and Cholera etc. deadly diseases...".[6]

Response from Ahmadi

Ahmadis do not subscribe to the view that the death was due to cholera.[1][2] They contend that the attending physicians at the time of his death declared the cause of death as diarrhoea[2][7] and not cholera, and the same was recorded for publication in newspapers. They also claim that the lack of precautions taken by attending doctors and his followers against infectious diseases during the postmortem handling of Ahmad's body was not consistent with a death from cholera.[1]

Prophesies in question

His critics say that his death proved some of his prophecies false:[8]

  • He prophesied that he would live to be 80 or so years old but his opponents assert he lived 73 years. His followers disagree with this contention and point out that the said prophecy (made in 1865 or about 43 years before his actual death) was for “..eighty years or a few years less or more….” (Tadhkira, page 6, emphasis by editor), and that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was 73 years old at the time of his death (b: 1835 – d: 1908).[9] Ahmadis assert that according to lunar calendar he lived 75 years which is according to the prophecy (80 or so).[10]
  • He prophesied that he would marry Muhammadi Begum, before his death but his opponents point out he never did. Followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad however claim that the prophecy regarding Mohammadi Begum was multi-faceted, not confined to marriage with Muhammadi Begum only and "conditional", i.e., did not require absolute fulfillment. They point out that as part of the prophecy (death of Muhammadi Begum’s father) was fulfilled after which conditions changed, the remaining prophecy did not come to pass.[11]
  • His opponents assert that he gave a prayer that Moulvi Sanaullah of Amritsar, his arch opponent who had openly called him a liar and an impostor, will die before him. However his opponents point out that he died first. His followers however contend that the said claim was not one-sided and was part of a Mubahila (Prayer-Duel) or challenge which was conditional upon the acceptance of the same by Maulvi Sanaullah. As Maulvi Sanaullah publicly refused to accept the challenge posed by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the contents therein did not come into effect. Hence the question who died first became immaterial and inconsequential due to Maulvi Sanalullah’s recorded refusal to accept the Mubalaha (prayer-duel or challenge).[12]
  • His opponents assert that a doctor Abdul Hakim prophesied that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad would die within a certain time period and that he did die within that time. However, Ahmadis assert that not only was he plagiarizing Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's prophecy of his demise but that he repeatedly kept changing it till it became a specific date which was off by many months of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's actual date of death.[13]
  • His opponents assert that he prophesied that Abdullah Atham, a Christian who had debated with Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, will die before him within a limited time frame. However, some of his opponents assert that he died first but mainly that Atham died after the fifteen months prophesied period had passed (Jung-e-Muqaddas, P. 189.).

Ahmadiyya Muslims see this episode as reminiscent of the prophecy of the Biblical Prophet Jonah to the city of Nineveh. They answer the critics by claiming that the original prophecy which was published in the book Jang e Muqaddas was conditional upon Atham not inclining towards 'truth' as was stated provided he does not incline towards truth.[14] They argue that Atham was in constant fear and backed out of his Anti-Islamic stance for the 15 months of the prophecy. Ahmadiyya Muslims say that after much jubilation was shown by the opponents of Ahmad upon Atham being alive once the time limit of the original prophecy expired, Ghulam Ahmad invited him to swear on oath that he did not entertain the least thought of the truth of Islam and the falsehood of Christianity. His refusal to do so is sufficient proof of his inclining towards truth.[15] They point out that Abdullah Atham eventually died on July 27, 1896 within the lifetime of Ghluam Ahmad after he had made the prophecy of his death on September 30, 1895,[16]

  • He declared that Allah would bestow upon him a great son, but his opponents assert that he didn't have another son. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believe that the prophecy was fulfilled in the person of Mirza Basheer-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad who was born in time of the Prophecy.,[17] while the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement believe that the prophecies related to the "promised son" are allegorical in nature,[18]
  • He prophesied that he would die in Mecca or in Medina but he died in Lahore and never saw either city. His followers state that the prophecy was not about where he would die, but about predicted great victories as Muhammad had over Mecca and Medina. They often quote what he himself wrote about the revelation that stated that he would die in Mecca or Medina:
This sentence ‘I shall die in Mecca or in Medina’ means that before my death I shall be bestowed a victory like that of Mecca. That is to say as the Holy Prophet(sa) had vanquished his enemies through the manifestation of the majestic Signs of Allah, so will it happen now. The second meaning is that before my death, I shall be bestowed a victory like that of Medina which means that people’s hearts will of their own be inclined towards me.[19]


  1. ^ a b c Maulana Hafiz Sher Muhammad Sahib, True Facts about the Ahmadiyya Movement. In Reply to S.P. Tayo's Facts about the Ahmadiyya Movement, pp. 47-50
  2. ^ a b c "A Spiritual Challenge",
  3. ^ Ahmad The Guided One by Ian Adamson Pages 333-334
  4. ^ Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in the Mirror of his own Writings,
  5. ^ Death of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani?,
  6. ^ Prayer of Mirza Ghulam, against his erstwhile opponent, Molvi Sanaullah Amratsari seeking judgment from Allah, Majmooa-e-Ishteharaat, Collection of Advertisement of Mirza Ghulam, vol.3 p.578-579. Published by Jamaat Ahmadiyya Headquarter London
  7. ^ "True Facts about the Ahmadiyya Movement" (pp. 47-50) by Maulana Hafiz Sher Muhammad Sahib
  8. ^ The Death of Mirza Ghulam Qadiani,
  9. ^ Muhammad, Maulana Hafiz Sher, True Facts about the Ahmadiyya Movement, Ahmadiyya Anjumah Ishaat Islam Delhi, page 59 [1]
  10. ^
  11. ^ The Prophecy about Muhammadi Begum Compiled by Dr. Zahid Aziz
  12. ^ 'True Facts about the Ahmadiyya Movement.' (pp. 44-47) by Maulana Hafiz Sher Muhammad Sahib. Web Link
  13. ^ "Some prophecies of Hadhrat Ahmad: A Critical Study" (pgs. 45-52) by Naeem Osman Memon. [2]
  14. ^ Divine Manifestations
  15. ^ Prayer Services led by a non-Ahmadi Muslim
  16. ^ Beg, Mirza Masum, Prophecies of the Promised Messiah, Ahmadiyyah Anjuman Isha'at-i-Islam, page 53) [3]
  17. ^ "Some prophecies of Hadhrat Ahmad: A Critical Study" (pgs. 53-62) by Naeem Osman Memon. [4]
  18. ^ The Truth of Hazrat Mirza Sahib's Prophecy Concerning the Appearance of the Musleh Mauood
  19. ^ Al-Hakam, Vol. X, No. 2, January 17, 1906, p. 3; Tadhkirah (pg. 724)

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