At a time Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was engaged in meeting the challenges of the mullahs, he came to know of two books written by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. The titles of the two books were Ad-Du‘a’ Wal-Istijabah and Tahrir Fi Usulit-Tafsir. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) had read his other publications earlier.
Sir Syed Ahmad Khan declared that prayers were just a form of worship resorted to by devotees at times of need by natural impulse. Prayer, according to him, did not actually help in the attainment of what was desired because God did not interfere in the laws of Nature and everything seemed to be pre-ordained. Sir Syed Ahmad Khan stated that he did not believe in the efficacy of prayers or in the existence of the angels.
As these ideas, which were against the teachings of Islam, were being spread, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) wrote a booklet, Barakatud-Du‘a’ in 1893, in which he reviewed the two books of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, and pointed out his mistakes and explained that prayers were indeed accepted by God and that they did help in the attainment of the desired end. Prayer, he said, was like medicine. If everything was ordained, why should diseases be treated at all? If prayer were useless, the science of medicine must also be meaningless. He further explained the philosophy of prayer show that pre-ordination or predestination did not preclude the exercise of power and control by the Almighty, Who could not be dethroned. Then, he discussed the principles of interpreting the Holy Quran. He also refuted the idea that revelation was only a subjective state of mind and not an actual and objective communion with God. He further declared:
“God has sent me as the reformer of this age, because such wrong notions as these could not be removed without special Divine assistance from the ideas of the Muslims, and that the non-believers could be offered the proof of the 89 existence of True and Living God and that the truth and greatness of Islam could be established through fresh heavenly signs... To say that the door of revelation which characterizes saints is now closed, and that signs cannot be shown now and that prayers are no longer heard and accepted, is the clear way to destruction and not peace. Do not reject the grace of God. Rise, Try and Test. It would be better that Sir Syed Ahmad Khan should think of the life hereafter and the best course for him is to live in my company for a few months. As I am commissioned and I am the bearer of glad tidings, I promise that I shall pray for him and hope that God will show a sign, which, in a moment, would bring to dust the law of Nature devised by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.”
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) declared that his prayer about Pandit Lekh Ram was accepted. Although the Pandit died in 1897, within the stipulated period, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was so confident, even in 1893, about the acceptance of his prayer, that he cited the prophecy about Pandit Lekh Ram as the one that had been accepted. This was an example of how God answers the prayer of His servants.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) also laid down seven principles of the commentary on the Holy Quran. These, he said, were:
- Evidence from the Holy Quran.
- The commentary on the holy verses by the Holy Prophet (sa).
- The commentary by the Companions of the Holy Prophet (sa).
- The meaning of the holy words which are revealed to one’s pure self.
- Arabic grammar.
- There is unison in soul and body.
- Revelation and vision.
(Taken from An Introduction to the hidden Treasures of Islam)