Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya: a Timeless Classic

When the Promised Messiahas published Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya in 1880, it sent shockwaves across the religious world. People had always known the Promised Messiahas to be an ardent defender of the faith, but Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya was something altogether on another level. 

The impact that Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya had demonstrates its uniqueness. In previous Islamic literature though books were highly acclaimed, but in the case of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya we find that even those individuals who would later become the opponents of the Promised Messiahas praised the book. Muslims also began to use Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya in their sermons pointing towards the high acclaim that it received.[1] Moreover, the editor of Manshoor-e-Muhammadi after praising the book stated that he would add another one thousands rupees to the ten thousand that been issued as a reward in the challenge.[2] The editor of Isha’at us Sunnah who would later become a fierce opponent of the Promised Messiahas, Maulvi Muhammad Hussein Batalwi published a three hundred page review of the first four parts of the book in which he wrote: 

“The author of Barahin has safeguarded the dignity of the Muslims…He has proclaimed on earth that whosoever is in doubt with regards to the truth of Islam should come to him and witness the rational proofs and miracles of the Holy Prophetsa”.[3]

In another place he wrote: 

In our opinion, this book in this age, and to meet the present circumstances, is such that the like of it has not been written up to this time in Islam … its author, too, has proved himself to be firmly staunch in helping the cause of Islam with his money, with his pen and his tongue, and with his personal religious experiences. And he has done this (service) to such an extent that the example of it is rarely met with among the Muslims who have gone before. If anyone considers these words of ours to be Asiatic exaggeration, let him point out at least one such book as has in it such forceful refutation of all classes of the opponents of Islam, especially the Arya Samaj, and let him give us the particulars of two or three persons as the helpers of the cause of Islam who, besides serving Islam with their money and their personal efforts and their pens and their tongues, have also come forward with their religious experiences and have proclaimed, as against the opponents of Islam and the deniers of revelation, that manly challenge that whoever doubted the truth of revelation might come to them and witness the same.[4]

The rapid advancement of the Christians was brought to a halt when Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya become widely available to the Muslims and this placed the Promised Messiahas at the centre  of the debate in proving the truth of Islam. As such we find very few books that had such a wide impact in Islamic history. 

When this book came into circulation it immediately halted the expansion of the Christian missionary efforts and enabled Muslims to hold their head high once more. Furthermore, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya was just one book that the Promised Messiahas authored. From 1880 till his demise in 1908 he wrote over eighty books that were peerless in themselves. Hence, Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya initiated a revivalism that raised great hue and cry amongst the followers of other religions as they realised that the arguments presented therein could not be matched. 

We can also judge the impact of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya from an article published in 1903 which highlighted how the Muslim population had begun to increase whereas before the case was opposite: 

The Census Report of 1901 shows that with a very small missionary and propagandic effort, Islam shows an increase in India which far exceeds the increases boasted by all the other religions of the country taken together. The following figures illustrate this remark. Since 1891 the Hindus have decreased by 585,000, the Christians have increased by about 639,000, the Buddhists by a little over 2,345,000, and the Sikhs by 187,400. Thus, the total increase for all religions in British India for the decade ending with 1901 is only about 2,856,400, while during the same period the Muhammadans have added more than 5,000,000 souls to their numbers, which is about double the increase of all other religions taken together.

In only a few years after the publication of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya the wave of Muslims converting to Christianity had not only ceased but Islam was growing at the fastest rate in the Subcontinent. Such a turn of events has been ascribed to ‘a very small missionary and propagandic effort. Since the Promised Messiahas was at the forefront of such propagation of Islam especially after the publication of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya we can conclude that such a result was due to the impact of Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya.

[1] Q&A Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Review of Religions, October 2012. p 16

[2] Ibid. p 17

[4] Isha’at us Sunnah. Volume 7, No 11 (1884) . p 347

[3] Muhammad Hussien Batalwi, Isha’at us Sunnah. Volume 7, No 11 (1884) . p 347

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