Revelation and Hazrat Mirza's claim: Wahy Nubuwwat and Wahy Wilayat
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Section presents writings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to
show that he clearly distinguished between the two main
types of revelation: wahy nubuwwat (revelation
exclusive to prophets), and wahy wilayat (the
lower form of revelation received by saints as well as
prophets); and that he considered wahy nubuwwat to have
terminated after the Holy Prophet Muhammad because it
characterises a prophet. He only laid claim to receiving
wahy wilayat. The Section then deals with the concept of
muhaddas, the proper term for a Muslim saint who receives
revelation, and shows the meaning Hazrat Mirza attached
to this term.
Wahy or revelation from God is of two kinds:
Wahy nubuwwat or wahy risalat (revelation exclusive to prophets).
Wahy wilayat or wahy muhaddasiyyat (revelation received by a saint, a non-prophet).
The persons who are raised by God for a mission are appointed either by receiving wahy nubuwwat or wahy wilayat. Hazrat Mirza wrote:
If such a person is a recipient of wahy nubuwwat, he is called a nabi (prophet) and rasul (messenger), and belongs to the category of prophets.
If, however, he is a recipient of wahy wilayat, he is called a muhaddas (one who receives Divine revelation without being a prophet) or a mujaddid (religious reformer), and belongs to the category of saints (wali).
Wahy nubuwwat (revelation exclusive to prophets) began with the prophet Adam and ended with the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This is what Hazrat Mirza wrote:
So, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, wahy nubuwwat has been ended. To put man in contact with God now, there only remains wahy wilayat which is received by saints. Hazrat Mirza wrote on this point as follows:
Even if the wahy nubuwwat received by someone did not address him by the titles nabi (prophet) and rasul (messenger), he would still become a prophet as the recipient of wahy nubuwwat. The Holy Prophet Muhammad's first revelation in the form of wahy nubuwwat is the Quranic passage beginning with the words: ``Read in the name of thy Lord, Who creates.'' The revelation of this passage made him a prophet, yet it did not address him as nabi or rasul.
Conversely, if the wahy wilayat received by a saint addresses him as nabi and rasul, and he even receives verses of the Holy Quran in his wahy wilayat, he still does not become a prophet, but remains a saint. Many recognised saints throughout the history of Islam received revelation in which they were called nabi and rasul, and they also had revelation which contained verses from the Holy Quran. Imam Ja`far Sadiq, an early Imam from the line of Ali, is said to have received the whole of the Holy Quran in his revelation.
Therefore, the revelation of a single sentence by way of wahy nubuwwat makes the recipient a prophet, but the revelation upon some saint of even the whole of the Holy Quran by way of wahy wilayat does not make him a prophet. Regarding this, Hazrat Mirza writes:
How explicitly and unequivocally has Hazrat Mirza stated here that, after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, wahy nubuwwat had ended! Even a single sentence of this type of revelation cannot descend upon any person after the Holy Prophet. However many saints, reformers and Divinely-inspired holy men appear among the Muslims, they would receive only wahy wilayat, and Hazrat Mirza is one such personage. Never did he term his revelation as wahy nubuwwat, but always as wahy wilayat.