the Sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, the term used
for those persons who receive Divine revelation, but are
not prophets, is muhaddas. The meaning of this term has
been explained by the Holy Prophet himself as: ``A person
who is spoken to by God, without being a prophet.''
``Among the Israelites
before you, there used to be men who were spoken to
by God, though they were not prophets, and if there
is such a one among my people it is Umar.''
book: Qualities of the Companions of the Holy Prophet,
ch. Umar; 62:6)
In another version of this
hadith in the same source, instead of the words rijal-un
yukallamuna (``men spoken to by God'') the word muhaddas
(lit. one to whom something is told) is used.
``Among the nations
before you there used to be muhaddases, and if
there is one of them in my nation it is Umar.''
see also Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Faza'il, ch.
Virtues of Umar; vol. vi, p. 91 of the edition with
Urdu translation published by Khalid Ihsan
Publishers, Lahore, 1981. The hadith in Bukhari is
related by Abu Huraira, while that in Muslim is
related by Aishah.)
This establishes the
concept and definition of muhaddas in Islam --- a
non-prophet who receives revelation. (This revelation is,
of course, of the type open to saints, i.e. wahy
wilayat, and not wahy nubuwwat, as discussed
in Sections 4 and 5 of the Evidence.) Classical and
modern authorities in Islam have explained what is meant
by a muhaddas as follows:
Classical Commentary on
are meant persons to whom God speaks, without them
Commentary on Bukhari, vol. vii, p. 614)
Commenting on the verse of the Quran which describes
three modes of revelation (42:51), this famous commentary
of the Quran says:
``In this verse, God
has referred to people in general, and not prophets
as such, because revelation is not confined to
prophets. In previous times, there is the example of
Mary and the mother of Moses, who were not prophets
but God spoke to them. In our religion, that will be
the position of muhaddases of the nation. They
will receive revelation.''
al-Ma`ani under verse 42:51)
Shaikh Ahmad of
``Know, O truthful
brother, that the speaking of God with man is
sometimes face-to-face. This is for the prophets, and
is also for some of their perfect followers due to
obedience and as inheritance. When a follower
receives Divine speech abundantly and frequently in
this manner, he is called a muhaddas, as was
Umar, the chief of the Muslims.''
vol. iii, part vii, p. 2, letter no. 51)
Sayyid Muhammad Ismail
``The quality of Umar
mentioned in the hadith, `If there had been a
prophet after me, it would have been Umar', has
been explained by the Holy Prophet as the rank of muhaddas.
This is because, after the finality of prophethood,
it would not be correct to ascribe prophethood and
apostleship to anyone. Similarly, regarding the
position of Ali mentioned in the well-known hadith, `You
stand in the same relation to me as that in which
Aaron stood to Moses, except that there is no prophet
after me', it is said that this is also the rank
of muhaddas. Also, in the hadith, `The
Ulama of my nation are like the prophets of Israel',
by ulama are meant the people known as muhaddas.''
Urdu translation by Manazir Ahsan Gilani, published
in A.P., India, p. 403)
Shah Wali-ullah of
``The rank of muhaddas
is such that when a muhaddas arises, he does
not have to follow conclusions derived by human
reasoning, just as the sun eliminates the need for
ordinary lamps. For he comes with revelation and the
knowledge given to prophets.''
Maulana Abul Kalam
``The most exalted
group consists of those exclusively select, purified
souls who are chosen by the Grantor of Divine grace
and favour for momentous tasks. Their light of
knowledge and action is derived from the fountain of
prophethood, and they follow in the path of
prophethood. These special persons are referred to in
the hadith of Bukhari by the term muhaddas.''
Lahore, first published 1919, p. 114)
The word muhaddas
has two types of meaning: literal (root) and technical.
The word tahdees (from which muhaddas comes) means
to relate or inform something. Literally,
therefore, this word does not convey the significance of
relating news of the unseen, but merely relating
something. This is what Hazrat Mirza wrote:
``In no lexicon does
the word tahdees convey the meaning of
disclosing the unseen.''
Ayk Ghalati ka Izala)
As to the technical
meaning of muhaddas in Islamic theology, Hazrat
the honour of being spoken to by God. Matters of the
unseen are disclosed to him. His revelation, like
that of prophets and messengers, is protected from
the interference of the devil. The real essence of
the Law (Shari`ah) is disclosed to him. He is
appointed just like the prophets, and, like them, it
is his duty to proclaim himself openly. His denier
is, to some extent, liable to Divine punishment.''
Maram, p. 18)
According to these two
meanings of muhaddas, Hazrat Mirza has denied the
application to him of this term in its literal sense, and
affirmed its application to him in the technical sense.
We now give extracts from
Hazrat Mirza's writings to show that he clearly claimed
to be a muhaddas, as distinct from a prophet:
``There is no doubt
that this humble one has come from God as a muhaddas
for the Muslim nation.''
Maram, p. 18)
``There is no claim of
prophethood; on the contrary, the claim is of muhaddasiyyat
[being a muhaddas] which has been advanced by
the command of God.''
Auham, p. 421)
``O brothers, I have
been sent as a muhaddas from God, to you and
to all those on earth.''
Kamalat Islam, p. 367)
``I am not a prophet
but a muhaddas from God, and a recipient of
Divine revelation so that I may revitalize the
religion of the Holy Prophet.''
I have not
claimed prophethood, nor have I said to them that I
am a prophet
I did not say anything to the
people except what I wrote in my books, namely, that
I am a muhaddas and God speaks to me as He
speaks to muhaddases.''
al-Bushra, p. 79; new edition pp. 281,--,282)
``I firmly believe
that our Holy Prophet Muhammad is the Last of the
Prophets (Khatam al-anbiya), and after him no
prophet shall come for this nation (umma),
neither new nor old. Not a jot or tittle of the Holy
Quran shall be abrogated. Of course, muhaddases
will come who will be spoken to by God
I am one
Asmani, p. 28)
``As our Leader and
Messenger [Holy Prophet Muhammad] is the Last of the
Prophets (Khatam al-anbiya), and no prophet
can come after him, for this reason muhaddases
have been substituted for prophets in this
al-Quran, p. 24)
Mirza, therefore, claimed to be a muhaddas in the
technical sense of this term. Never did Hazrat Mirza say
that he had progressed from the position of a muhaddas
to the higher position of a prophet.