Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian (Urdu: حضرت مرزا غلام احمد قادیانی علیہ السّلام)
On February 13th, 1835, in the small Indian village of Qadian, a man named Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was born. He belonged to a well-known and noble family.
All religions contain prophecies that foretell the advent of a special individual, who will come as a reformer in the latter days. In Islam, Muslims await the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi. The advent of that Promised Messiah was prophesied by the Holy Prophet (sa) himself. According to a tradition, the Holy Prophet (sa) was sitting among his companions, two verses from Surah al Jumuah were revealed:
“He it is Who has raised among the unlettered people a Messenger from among themselves who recites unto them His Signs, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and Wisdom though before that they were in manifest error; And He will raise him among others of them who have not yet joined them. He is the Mighty, the Wise.” (Holy Quran, 62:3-4)
One of the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) questioned as to who this verse relates to, and the Prophet of Islam (sa) replied while putting his hand on Hazrat Salman (ra), a Persian companion:
“If faith were to go up to the Pleiades, a man from among these would surely find it.” (Bukhari).
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) is that Promised Reformer of the later age, who was of Persian descent.
Starting from his childhood, the Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's (as) interest in religion was noticed by many, including his father, who nicknamed him "maseetar" i.e. "one who spends most of his time in a mosque observing prayer".
At an early age, he began to receive revelations from God, as well as visions and true dreams. In the years 1864 or 1865, the Promised Messiah (as) had a vision where he saw the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa). This verified further, that Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) had a strong connection with the Prophet of Islam (sa). Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was shown that he would have a fruitful spiritual future.
The Promised Messiah’s father wanted for his son to pursue government service, which would allow him a handsome means to support his family financially. However, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) felt his time pursuing his worldly occupation was like a “prison sentence” as he was deeply attached to spirituality and enhancing his religious knowledge. Therefore, during his spare time, he continued to study the Holy Quran profusely, and always strove to serve humanity, often helping those who were in need. He also spent his time debating with Christian missionaries who lived in his neighbourhood, defending his beloved faith, Islam.
The June of 1876 was a tragic time for Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) as his father passed away. Earlier, on the same day, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) had received a revelation from God revealing about his father’s death. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was quite saddened by the death, and was worried about the troubles his family would now face, with limited financial means. However, since Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was an individual loved by God - and so Allah Almighty sent another revelation:
“Is Allah not sufficient for his servant?” (Holy Quran, 39:37)
This assurance filled Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) with contentment that Allah Almighty would always provide for him. In 1868 or 1869, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) received the revelation:
“Thy God is well pleased with what thou hast done. He will bless thee greatly, so much so that Kings shall seek blessing from your garments.”
This seemed a strange revelation at the time – why would kings seek blessings from the clothes of someone hardly known outside this small remote village in India? But, history bears witness, that this revelation became a reality, as the legacy of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) unfolded and reached people from all over the world, from all walks of life, rich and poor, till today.
The flow of revelations and visions continued until in 1882 he received the revelation which made it clear that he, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), was to be the appointed one, the one commissioned by God to serve His cause; he was Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as).