耶穌誕生於釋迦之後四百餘年，自無可能是淨土學自基督，阿育王在基督紀元前二七二至二二六年在位，大弘佛教，派遣正法大僧至敘利亞、埃及、馬其頓傳播佛教，已將佛教觀念播種於中東一帶，耶穌自十二歲初次講道後的事蹟，至耶穌三十二歲正式在以色列傳道，其中二十年之事跡，全無記載於聖經新約，實無道理！有西洋學者發現耶穌大門徒聖彼得所著作的《水徒行述年紀》，載有耶穌早年赴印度參學佛教之經過及後來經波斯土耳其而返以色列傳道，此一記錄，據雲當初原載於聖經新約，後被羅馬教廷刪除，我最近在閱讀一本叫做《Jesus lived in India》的書，中文可以翻作《耶穌居住在印度》。這本書這十來年來引起了很多基督教徒的異議，原因就是書內引證很多歷史證據有力地推測基督教《新約聖經》裡面所記載的耶穌事蹟其實已經被當時羅馬教廷給扭曲了。而耶穌所傳的福音是原自於當時已被傳到埃及的佛教。還證實了摩西出埃及後最後到了猶太人的被承諾的國度其實是在喀什米爾（Kashmir）內靠近Srinagar，即現在印度和巴基斯坦有領域爭執之地。
現在看來這些話沒有太大的驚奇，但是虛老當時說是聽洋人所說。但是當時來華的洋人除了做生意的之外就是傳教的。而對於耶穌的真實背景研究和與佛教的淵源也是在1894年一名叫Nicolai Alexandrovitch Notovitch的俄羅斯歷史學家在喀什米爾附近的一個藏傳寺院（Hemis Monastery）裡面無意中發現文載後才開示興起。但是還是被衛道者打壓和盡可能推翻，以保基督教的不可置疑真理。在1910年才有另外一名俄羅斯學者，針對這話題在出一書，名為《The life of Saint Issa》或中文可翻譯為《聖耶薩的一生》同樣將耶穌被佛教影響的說法羅列出來。
基督教亦脫胎于淨土宗《阿彌陀佛》。試觀耶穌身上搭衣。與佛相同。阿彌陀經說西方極樂世界。耶氏亦說天國極樂。淨土往生分九品。耶教李林天神譜。亦言天神分九品。阿彌陀經說不可以少善根福德因緣得生彼國。耶氏亦言你不在人間立功。上帝不許你到天國。淨宗二六時念佛名號。求佛接引。耶氏亦以早晚祈禱上帝哀佑。至佛門有灌頂之法。耶氏亦有洗禮之儀--觀此耶氏教義。與淨土宗趣。大致相同。而耶氏誕生於釋迦後千有餘年。當是曾受佛化。得阿彌陀經之授。歸而根據之。 另行創教。似無疑義。且耶氏曾晦跡三年。當是赴印度參學。事雖無據。而跡其蛛絲馬跡。似非厚誣云云。其言良非向壁虛構。不過表面上看來。耶氏雖類似淨宗初機之持名念佛。實際則遠遜之。耶教著於他力。明其然。而不明其所以然。跡近勉強。持名念佛。則重他力自作相應。如楞嚴經大勢至圓通章雲。 “十方如來。憐念衆生。如母憶子。若子逃逝。雖憶何爲。子若憶母。如母憶時。母子曆生。不相違遠。若衆生心。憶佛念佛。現前當來。必得見佛。去佛不遠。不假方便。自得心開。我本因地。以念佛心入無生忍。今於此界。攝念佛人。歸於淨土。”有因有果。故理事無礙。且耶教說永生。淨宗則雲往生淨土。見佛聞法。悟無生忍。永生之生。以滅顯生。有生對待。終有滅時。無生之生。則本自無生。故無有滅。此所以稱爲無量壽（阿彌陀譯名）也。
虛老對基督教耶穌的一些生平的瞭解可謂令人吃驚，再說虛老所說的內容居然與現在的這本《Jesus Lived in India》非常相似，但是此書被宗教研究者關注也就是由其於1994年第一次出版後此話題才被更多人認識。當時虛老說裡面很多是他老人家的自己猜測，沒有實際證據。但是在這本書內通過實地考察和最新發現的文獻記載，很多推測已經被證實可信（或英文常用來形容的“beyond reasonable doubts”），如搭衣洗禮等習慣。再者，輪迴一說和因果說法本來在原始基督教裡面是有的，也有轉世的啟示，但是卻被羅馬教廷刪去，其原因也是因為有多行不義的王后，為免自己遭受果報而勒令焚毀一切有關學說。在語言學上的研究也證實了很多目前《聖經》裡面記載和希伯來語猶太《聖經》的記載其語言源頭來自梵文，而這些受梵文影響的字的原意大多是和佛教教義有關。再者，《聖經》裡面的故事和比喻大多源自佛經典故。
近來佛教人士和佛教的報紙說耶穌曾在印度學佛，因而指出耶穌的教訓是從佛教來的。因爲聖經中沒有記載耶穌在 12 嵗至 30 嵗的事跡，所以絕大多數基督徒不知道如何應對。爲此蔡春曦牧師在2月 27 日的華人信仰難題講座解答這個問題，講出這個謬論從何而來，並以歷史事實和邏輯證明耶穌沒有在印度學佛。
爲何佛教徒有此講法？蔡牧師説，在 19 世紀一個名叫羅套華玆的俄國人，宣稱他曾經去過喀什米爾的喇嘛廟，得到兩冊用西藏巴利文寫的古卷，裏面講到先知伊薩的故事。内容在 1890 年出版成書，名為「伊薩生平」。但是到了 1994 年書改名為「耶穌佚史」。一個叫作伊利沙伯的作家寫了《耶穌的失蹤年代》的書，掀起了許多人對耶穌在12 至 30 嵗這 18 年是在以色列而是在喀什米爾的疑問。
蔡牧師首先從内證的批判說，如果耶穌在印度學佛，為何在他的言論中絲毫沒有佛教思想？爲何耶穌沒有講過他在印度見過誰？爲何耶穌連半句佛語都沒有講過呢？如果耶穌從 12 嵗離開家鄉，到了 30 嵗回到家鄉的時候那裏的人還會認出耶穌嗎？再者如果耶穌離開了 18 年去學佛，但耶穌的服裝爲何一點佛教的色彩也沒有？
然後蔡牧師以某些到過喀什米爾的專家研究加以説明。1973 年一個名叫韓格加斯坦去到那間喇嘛廟，發現根本沒有羅套華玆宣稱的古卷；在 1896 年，度格拉斯去查羅套華玆，原來他講的是謊言。此外從外證來說，西藏至到唐朝時候，文成公主嫁到吐蕃，才開始有佛教，他們的佛教廟根本是唐末之後才有的，如果耶穌去西藏學佛，但是那時根本還未有佛教傳入。所以翻查歷史的話，這些都經歷不起考證。以歷史的批辦說明，如果真是有這兩卷書卷的存在於１世紀，應該保存在印度廟中，如果在佛教廟中真是由此古卷，那麽一定是後期僞造的。還有是在公元１世紀時候中亞洲是在最戰亂的時代，試想一個10 多嵗的小孩子怎可能經過戰場走到遙遠的西藏去。從種種跡象看來，這個説法都不成立。
蔡牧師說，耶穌在這 18 年，一直在拿撒勒。耶穌在後來講到的比喻，話語中講到的許多花草樹木，各樣植物，都是他在拿撒勒見到和學到的。其實聖經亦沒有記載到許多人的童年，故耶穌的童年沒有記載下來，亦不足成為疑問。
Jesus in India
Being an account of Jesus' escape from death on the cross and of his journey to India
by Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Promised Messiah and Mahdi
Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam
This is an English version of an Urdu treatise written by the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908). The theme is the escape of Jesus from death on the cross, and his journey to India in search of the lost tribes of Israel. Christian as well as Muslim scriptures, and old medical and historical books including ancient Buddhist records, provide evidence about this journey. Jesus is shown to have reached Afghanistan, and to have met the Jews who had settled there after deliverance from the bondage of Nebuchadnezzar. From Afghanistan Jesus went on to Kashmir, where other Israelite tribes had settled. There he made his home, and there in time he died; his tomb has been found in Srinagar.
Jesus in India is an English version of Masih Hindustan mein, an Urdu treatise written by the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835 - 1908).
The main thesis expounded in the treatise is Jesus' escape from an ignominious death on the Cross and his subsequent journey to India in quest of the lost tribes of Israel whom he had to gather into his fold as mentioned in the New Testament.
Abundant evidence has been furnished from Christian as well as Muslim Scriptures, old medical books and books of history, including ancient Buddhistic records, to illustrate the theme.
Starting upon his journey from Jerusalem and passing from thence through Nasibus and Iran, Jesus is shown to have reached Afghanistan, where he met the Jews who had settled there after their deliverance from the bondage of Nebuchadnezzar.
From Afghanistan Jesus went to Kashmir, where some Israelite tribes had also settled. He made this place his home and here he died. His tomb has been traced and found in Khanyar Street, Srinagar.
In the section dealing with the evidence adduced from ancient Buddhistic records, Hazrat Ahmad has resolved a question which, owing to its difficult nature, has for a long time confounded many a Western writer.
These writers have been baffled by the striking resemblance that exists between Christian and Buddhistic teachings and between the life events of both Jesus and Buddha as revealed in their respective Scriptures.
Some of these writers hold the view that Buddhistic teachings must somehow have reached Palestine and been assimilated by Jesus in his own sermons. But there is absolutely no historical proof to support this theory.
A Russian traveller named Nicolas Notovitch stayed for quite some time with Lamas in Tibet and had their sacred books translated for him. He is of the opinion that Jesus must have come to Tibet before the crucifixion and gone back to Palestine after having imbibed Buddhistic teachings. This also is a mere statement unsupported by reliable historical evidence.
Repudiating both these views, Hazrat Ahmad writes that Jesus came to India not before the event of the Cross but after it and that it was not he who borrowed Buddhistic teachings but the followers of Buddha who seem to have reproduced the entire picture of the Gospels in their books.
According to Hazrat Ahmad Jesus also visited Tibet during his travels in India in search of the lost tribes of Israel. He preached his messages to Buddhistic monks, some of whom were converted Jews. The followers of Buddha were deeply impressed by his teachings and took him to be the manifestation of Buddha and their Promised Teacher. With faith in him as their Master, they mixed his teachings with their own records and ascribed it all to the Buddha. Ample evidence in support of this is furnished from ancient Buddhistic records.
Masih Hindustan mein was written in 1899 and it marks the end of an era in which for centuries Muslims and Christians had believed in the ascension of Jesus to Heaven. It being the first book ever written on the subject with such a rational approach, the book produced a most profound impact.
Its arguments were broadcast and in the past half-century it has achieved remarkable success in divesting Jesus of false appurtenances of divinity and in presenting him to the world merely as a divine prophet as he actually was.
In Muslim circles the effect has been so marked that the Rector of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo issued a Fatwa (verdict) that according to the Holy Quran Jesus had died a natural death. Its influence on the Christian mind has also been greatly disturbing.
As stated in the Introduction and also at the end of the book, Hazrat Ahmad intended to write a second part in which he would have given, besides some additional proofs of Jesus' journey to India, a comparative evaluation of the teachings of Islam and Christianity with some cogent arguments in proof of the truth of Islam as well as of his own claim to be the Promised Messiah.
Though no other book among his writings bears this title, yet Hazrat Ahmad has discussed thoroughly all these issues with many more important ones concerning the truth of Islam, of his own claim and of the death of Jesus in quite a number of books which he wrote after the above-mentioned book.
The present English translation was made by Qazi Abdul Hamid, formerly editor of a weekly, The Sunrise, Lahore, in which it appeared serially during 1938-39. It was first published in book form in 1944 by Nashr-o-Ishaat, Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Qadian.
Besides others who have assisted us in any way in the production of this book, our thanks are due to Mr. Mauloud Ahmad Khan, a former Imam of the London Mosque, who went to great pains to gather relevant quotations from the original books which have been referred to by Hazrat Ahmad in support of his thesis. The quotations have been attached to the book in the form of an appendix.
Vakil-ut-Tabshir, Tahrik-i-Jadid, Rabwah, Pakistan
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH,
THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL
WE PRAISE HIM AND
INVOKE HIS BLESSINGS UPON
HIS NOBLE PROPHET
Lord! Judge between us and our people with truth;
Thou art the best of judges
I have written this book, so that, by adducing proofs from established facts, from conclusive historical evidence of proved value and from ancient documents of non-Muslims, I might remove the serious misconceptions which are current among Muslims and among most Christian sects regarding the earlier and the later life of Jesus (on whom be peace) - misconceptions, the dangerous implications of which have not only injured and destroyed the conception of Divine Unity, but the unwholesome and poisonous influence of which has for long been noticed in the morals of the Muslims of this country. Spiritual maladies, i.e., want of good morals, evil thoughts, callousness, want of sympathy, are spreading among most Islamic sects, being the result of beliefs in unfounded stories and anecdotes of this kind. Human sympathy, pity and love of justice, humility and humble-mindedness - all good qualities - are disappearing day by day, as if they will soon bid a last farewell to this community. This callousness and this immorality make many a Muslim appear no better than the beasts of the jungle. A Jain or a Buddhist is afraid of and avoids killing even a mosquito or a flea, but, alas! there are many among us Muslims who, while they kill an innocent man or commit wanton murder, are not afraid of the powerful God, who rates human life higher than that of all the animals. What is this callousness and cruelty and want of sympathy due to? It is due to this - that from their very childhood, stories and anecdotes and wrong views of the doctrine of Jihad are dinned into their ears and inculcated into their hearts, the result being that gradually they become morally dead and cease to feel the heinousness of their hateful actions; nay, rather, the man who murders another man unawares and thus brings ruin to the murdered man's family thinks that he has done a meritorious deed; or rather, that he has made the most of an opportunity to win favour with his community. As no lectures or sermons are delivered in our country to stop such evils - and if there are any such lectures they have an element of hypocrisy in them - the common people think approvingly of such misdeeds. Accordingly, taking pity upon my own people, I have compiled several books in Urdu, Persian and Arabic, in which I have stated that the popular view of Jihad prevalent among Muslims, that is, the expectation of a bloody Imam, full of spite and hostility for other people, is a texture of false beliefs inculcated by shortsighted Ulema; otherwise, Islam does not allow the use of the sword for the Faith; except in the case of defensive wars, or in the case of wars waged to punish a tyrant or to uphold freedom. The need of a defensive war arises when the aggression of an adversary threatens one's own life. These are the three kinds of Jihad permitted by the Shariat, and, apart from these three kinds, there is no other kind of war which is permitted by Islam for the propagation of the Faith. I have, in short, spent a large sum of money on such books, and have published them in this country and in Arabia and Syria and Khurasan, etc. But, by the grace of God, I have now discovered powerful arguments which are meant to eradicate these unfounded beliefs from the hearts of the people. I have clear proofs, circumstantial evidence of a conclusive character, and historical evidence the light of whose truth holds out the promise that soon after their publication there will be brought about against such beliefs a wonderful change in the hearts of the Muslims. And I hope - I am sure - that after these truths have been comprehended, there will flow out of the hearts of the righteous sons of Islam the sweet and beautiful springs of lowliness, humility and mercy, and that there will come about a spiritual change which will have a wholesome and a blessed influence on the country. I am also sure that Christian investigators and all other people who hanker after the truth and thirst for it, will benefit from my books. And the fact just now stated by me, that the real object of this book is to correct the wrong beliefs which have become part and parcel of the creeds of Muslims and Christians, requires a little explanation which I set out below.
Let it be known that most Muslims and Christians believe that Jesus (on whom be peace) went alive to the heavens; both these people have believed for a long time that Jesus (on whom be peace) is still alive in the heavens, and will sometime in the latter days come down to the earth. The difference in their views, i.e. the view of the followers of Islam and that of the Christians, is only this, that the Christians believe that Jesus (on whom be peace) died on the Cross, was resurrected, and went to the heavens in his earthly body, seated himself on the right hand of his Father, and will come to the earth in the latter days for judgment; they also say that the Creator and the Master of the world is this Jesus the Messiah and no one else; he it is who, in the latter days of the world, will descend to the earth with a glorious descent to award punishment and reward; then, all who will not believe in him or his mother as God, will be hauled up and thrown into hell, where weeping and wailing will be their lot. But the aforesaid sects of Muslims say that Jesus (on whom be peace) was not crucified, nor did he die on the Cross; on the other hand, when the Jews arrested him in order to crucify him an angel of God took him away to the heavens in his earthly body, and he is still alive in the heavens - which, they say, is the second heaven where is also the prophet Yahya, i.e. John. Muslims, moreover, also say that Jesus (on whom be peace) is an eminent prophet of God, but not God, nor the son of God, and, they believe that he will in the latter days descend to the earth, near the Minaret of Damascus or near some other place, supported on the shoulders of two angels, and that he and Imam Muhammad, the Mahdi, who will be already in the world, and who will be a Fatimite, will kill all the non-Muslims, not leaving anyone alive except those who will forthwith and without any delay become Muslims. In short, the real object of the descent of Jesus (on whom be peace) to the earth, as stated by Muslim sects known as Ahl-i-Sunnat or Ahl-i-Hadith called Wahabis by the common people - is that, like the Mahadev of the Hindus, he should destroy the whole world; that he should first threaten the people to become Muslims and then, if they persist in disbelief, massacre them all with the sword; they moreover say that he is alive in the heavens in his earthly body, so that, when Muslim powers become weak, he will come down and kill the non-Muslims or coerce them on pain of death to become Muslims. Regarding the Christians especially, the divines of the aforesaid sects state that when Jesus (on whom be peace) comes down from the heavens he will break all the Crosses in the world, do many a cruel deed with the sword, and inundate the world with blood. And, just as I have stated, these people, i.e. the Ahl-i-Hadith etc. from among the Muslims, are enthusiastic about their belief that a short time before the coming down of the Messiah there will appear an Imam from the Bani Fatima whose name will be Muhammad, the Mahdi. He it is who will be Khalifa and King of the time, and as he will belong to the Koraish, his real object will be to kill all non-Muslims except those who readily recite the Kalima. Jesus (on whom be peace) will come down in order to help him in his work; and although Jesus himself (on whom be peace) will be a Mahdi - nay, a greater Mahdi - yet, because it is essential that the Khalifa of the time should be a Koraish, Jesus (on whom be peace) will not be the Khalifa of the time; the Khalifa of the time will be that same Muhammad, the Mahdi. Muslims say that these two together will fill the earth with the blood of man, and they will shed more blood than has ever been shed before in the history of the world. No sooner will they appear than they will start this bloody campaign; they will neither preach nor plead, nor show any sign. And they also say that although Jesus (on whom be peace) will be like an adviser or a lieutenant of Imam Muhammad, the Mahdi, and although the reins of power will be in the hands of the Mahdi only, Jesus (on whom be peace) will instigate Hazrat Imam Muhammad, the Mahdi, to massacre the whole world and will advise him to adopt extreme measures, i.e. he will make amends for the humane teaching which he had given to the world before, namely, 'not to resist evil,' and, being struck on one cheek, 'to turn the other cheek also.'
This is what Muslims and Christians believe regarding Jesus (on whom be peace), and while it is a great error to call him, as the Christians do - a humble man - God, the beliefs of some of the followers of Islam, among whom is the sect called Ahl-i-Hadith also known as Wahabis, regarding a bloody Mahdi and a bloody Messiah, are affecting their morals very badly, so much so, that on account of their bad influence their dealings with other people are not based on honesty and good will, nor can they be truly and completely loyal to a non-Muslim Government. All reasonable men will realise that such a belief, namely, that non-Muslims should be subjected to coercion, that they should either forthwith become Muslims or be put to death, is open to the most serious objections. Every conscientious person will readily admit that before a man adequately realises the truth of a Faith, and before he has comprehended its beauties and its wholesome teachings, it is extremely undesirable to coerce him, on pain of death, to adopt that Faith. Far from contributing to the growth of that Faith, this would furnish the opponents with an opportunity to find fault with it. The ultimate result of a principle like this is that hearts become devoid of the quality of human sympathy and that mercy and justice, which are great human moral qualities, take leave of men, and instead, spitefulness and enmity tend to grow; there remain behind only the animal passions, wiping out all high moral qualities. But it would be noticed that such a teaching could not have proceeded from God, Who sends His punishment only after He has completed His argument.
Let this therefore be pondered over: that if there is a man who does not accept the true Faith because he is yet ignorant and unaware of its truth, of its teachings and its beauties, would it be reasonable to kill such a man forthwith? Nay, this man deserves pity; he deserves to be instructed gently and politely in the truth, beauty and the spiritual benefit of that faith; not that his denial should be met by the sword or the gun. So, the doctrine of Jihad proposed by these sects of Islam, as well as the belief that the time is near when there will arise a bloody Mahdi whose name would be Imam Muhammad, that the Messiah will come down from the heavens for his help, and that both together will kill all non-Muslim people if they deny Islam, is utterly opposed to our moral sense. Is not this the belief which puts out of action all good human qualities and morals, and encourages the qualities of life in the jungle? Those who hold such beliefs live a life of hypocrisy in relation to others, so much so that they cannot give true loyalty to state authorities of another Faith; they dishonestly profess to give allegiance to them, which is wrong. That is why some of the Ahl-i-Hadith sects mentioned by me just now are living a double life under the British Government in British India. In secret, they hold out hopes to the common people of the coming of bloody days of a bloody Mahdi and a bloody Messiah, and instruct them accordingly, but when they go to the authorities they flatter them and assure them that they do not approve of such ideas. If, however, they are really opposed to such ideas, why do they not propagate this in writing, and why should they await the coming of that bloody Mahdi and the Messiah standing as it were at the doorsteps, ready to join them in their campaign?
Such beliefs, in short, have very much demoralised these Maulvies: they are incapable of teaching people decency and peace. On the other hand, killing others without rhyme or reason is with them a great religious duty. I would be glad if any sect of the Ahl-i-Hadith is opposed to these beliefs, but I cannot help observing with regret that among the sects of the Ahl-i-Hadith1 there are those who in secret believe in a bloody Mahdi and in the popular notions of Jihad. They are opposed to correct notions, and they think it an act of great merit to kill when they have the opportunity to kill all the people professing other faiths, whereas the beliefs in killing others in the name of Islam, or believing in prophecies like the prophecy of a Bloody Messiah and wishing to advance the cause of Islam by bloodshed or by threats, are absolutely against the Holy Quran and the reliable Hadith. Our Holy Prophet (peace and the blessings of God be upon him) suffered great persecution at the hands of the Kafirs at Mecca and thereafter. The thirteen years which he spent at Mecca were years of great affliction and suffering of many kinds - a thought of them brings tears to one's eyes. But he did not raise the sword against his enemies, nor did he reply to their abuse, until many of his Companions and dear friends were mercilessly murdered; and until he himself was subjected to sufferings of various kinds, such as being poisoned many a time; and until many an unsuccessful plan to murder him had been laid. When, however, God's vengeance came, it so happened that the elders of Mecca and the chiefs of the tribes unanimously decided that this man should in any case be put to death. At that time, God, who is the Supporter of His loved ones and of the truthful and righteous, informed him that there was now nothing left in that town except evil, that the townspeople were bent upon murdering him and that he should therefore quit it at once. Then it was that, in accordance with the divine command, he migrated to Medina, but even then his enemies did not leave him alone; they pursued him there, and tried to destroy Islam in all possible ways. When their excesses went to an extreme, and when they had rendered themselves deserving of punishment by the murder of many an innocent person, permission to fight with them in self-defence, to fight with a view to warding off their attack, was given. And those people and their helpers had rendered themselves deserving of such treatment because of their having killed many an innocent person whom they had murdered not in any fight or battle but simply out of wanton mischief and whom they had robbed of their property. But, in spite of all this, when Mecca was taken our Holy Prophet (peace and the blessings of God be upon him) pardoned them all. It is, therefore, utterly wrong and unjust to suppose that the Holy Prophet (peace and the blessings of God be upon him) or his Companions ever fought for spreading the Faith, or that they ever coerced anyone to join the fold of Islam.
It is worth noting also that, as at that time all the people were prejudiced against Islam, and as the opposing people were scheming to destroy Islam, which they thought was a new religion and the followers of which were only a small community, and as everyone was anxious to see the Muslims destroyed early or disrupted so as not to leave any chance of their further growth and development, the Muslims at that time were obstructed in the smallest matters, and anyone from any tribe who accepted Islam and became a Muslim was either killed at once by his tribe or lived in perpetual danger. At a time like this, God Almighty, taking pity on Muslim converts, had imposed on the bigoted rulers a penalty, namely, that they should become subservient to Islam, and thus open the door of freedom for Islam. This was meant to remove the obstructions in the way of those who wished to accept the Faith; it was God's compassion for the world, and it harmed no one. It is evident, however, that non-Muslim rulers of to-day do not interfere with Islam; they do not ban the essential Islamic practices. They do not kill new Muslims, they do not put them into prison or torture them; why then should Islam raise its sword against them? It is obvious that Islam has never advocated compulsion: if the Holy Quran, the books of Hadith and historical records are carefully examined and, as far as possible, studied or listened to thoughtfully, it will be realised with certainty that the charge that Islam wielded the sword to propagate the Faith with force is an utterly unfounded and shameful charge against Islam. Such a charge against Islam is made by people who have not read the Quran, the Hadith and the reliable histories of Islam in a spirit of detachment, but have made free use of falsehood and have brought wrong charges against it. I know, however, that the time is near when those who are hungry and thirsty for Truth will be enlightened as to what reality there is in these charges. Can we ever describe that Faith as a faith of compulsion, when the Holy Book, the Quran, clearly directs that there is no compulsion in religion, that it is not permissible to use compulsion in religion, that it is not permissible to use compulsion or force in getting anyone to join Islam? Can we accuse that great Prophet of using force against others, who, day and night for thirteen years, exhorted all his Companions in Mecca not to return evil for the evil of the enemy, but to forbear and forgive? When, however, the mischief of the enemy went to extremes and when everybody started exerting himself for wiping out Islam, the Jealous God thought it fit that the people who had wielded the sword should be annihilated by the sword. Except for this the Holy Quran has not approved of compulsion. If compulsion had been approved of by Islam, the Companions of our Holy Prophet (peace and the blessings of God be upon him), in moments of trial, would not have behaved like people of sincere and genuine faith. Yet, the loyalty and faithfulness of the Companions of our Master, the Holy Prophet (peace be on him), is a matter which I hardly need to mention. It is no secret that among them are examples of loyalty and steadfastness the parallel of which it is difficult to find in the annals of other nations; this band of the faithful did not waver in their loyalty and steadfastness even under the shadow of the sword. On the other hand, in the company of their Great and Holy Prophet, they gave proof of that steadfastness which no man is ever able to give unless his heart and his bosom are lit up with the light of true faith. There is, in short, no compulsion in Islam. Wars in Islam fall under three categories: (1) defensive wars, i.e. war by way of self-protection; (2) punitive wars, i.e. blood for blood; (3) war to secure freedom, i.e. with a view to break the power of those who kill those who accept Islam. Therefore, when there is no direction in Islam that anyone should be made to join it by compulsion or by the threat to kill, it is absolutely absurd to await the appearance of any bloody Mahdi or a bloody Messiah. It can never be that there should appear in this world, against the Quranic teachings, a man who would use the sword to make people Muslims. This is not at all so very difficult to realise or above one's understanding. Only foolish people have been led to this belief by their selfishness. For most of our Maulvies labour under the misconception that the wars waged by the Mahdi will bring a large amount of wealth to them, so much so, that they will be unable to hold it, and, as most of the Maulvies to-day are very poor, they await day and night the appearance of a Mahdi, who, they think, will provide for their selfish desires. Therefore, these people turn against him who does not believe in the appearance of such a Mahdi; such a one is at once declared a Kafir, and outside the pale of Islam. I too, therefore, am a Kafir in the eyes of these people; and on these very grounds. For I do not believe in the appearance of a bloody Mahdi and a bloody Messiah. Nay, I hate such absurd ideas and regard them with contempt. And I have been declared a Kafir, not only because of my denial of the appearance of this supposed Mahdi and this supposed Messiah in whom they believe, but also because I have publicly announced, having been informed of it by God through revelation, that the real and true Promised Messiah who is also the real Mahdi, tidings of whose appearance are to be found in the Bible and the Quran and whose coming is promised also in the Hadith, is myself; who is, however, not provided with any sword or gun. I have been commanded by God to invite people with humility and gentleness to God, Who is the true God, Eternal and Unchangeable, Who has perfect Holiness, perfect Knowledge, perfect Mercy, and perfect Justice.
I am the light of this dark age; he who follows me will be saved from falling into the pit prepared by the Devil for those who walk in darkness. I have been sent by God to lead the people of the world to the true God through peace and humility, and to reassert the reign of morals in Islam. God has provided me with heavenly signs, for the satisfaction of seekers after truth. He has done wonderful things in my support; He has disclosed to me secrets of the unseen and of the future which, according to the holy books, is the sign of a true claimant to divine office, and He has vouchsafed to me holy and pure Knowledge. Therefore, the souls which hate truth and are pleased with darkness, have turned against me. But I have decided to be sympathetic towards mankind - as far as I can. So, in this age the greatest sympathy for the Christians is that their attention should be called to the true God, Who is free from such defects as being born and having to suffer death and undergo suffering, the God who made the earliest heavenly bodies spherical in shape and, in His law of nature, set down this point of spiritual guidance that, like a sphere, there is in Him Unity and absence of direction. That is why the things which occupy space have not been made triangular, i.e., the things which God created first such as the earth, the heaven, the sun and the moon, and all the stars, and elements - all are spherical, the spherical nature of which points towards Unity. Therefore there can be no greater sympathy with the Christians than that they should be guided towards the God Whose creations declare Him to be free from the idea of trinity.
The greatest sympathy towards Muslims is that they should be reformed morally and that an effort should be made to dispel the false hopes which they entertain in connection with the appearance of a bloody Mahdi and Messiah, which are entirely against the Islamic teachings. I have just now stated that the ideas of some of the Ulema of the day that there will appear a bloody Mahdi who will spread Islam at the point of the sword, are all opposed to the Quranic teachings and are the result of greed and selfishness. For a right-minded and truth-loving Muslim to forsake such beliefs or ideas, it should be enough to study carefully the Quran, and to pause, consider and see that the Holy Word of God is quite against holding out a threat of murder to force anyone into the fold of Islam. This one argument, in short, is sufficient to refute these false ideas. Nevertheless, out of a feeling of sympathy, I have decided to refute the aforesaid ideas by positive and clear proofs from history, etc. Hence, I shall try to prove in this book that Jesus (peace be on him) did not die on the Cross: he did not go up to heaven, nor should it be supposed that he will ever again come down from heaven to earth; that, rather, he died at the age of 120 years at Srinagar, in Kashmir, and that his tomb is to be found in the Khan Yar Street of that town. I have divided this enquiry into ten chapters, and an epilogue, comprising the testimony of the Bible, the testimonies of the Holy Quran and the Hadith, the testimony of medical books, the testimony of historical records, the testimony of oral traditions which have been handed down from generation to generation, miscellaneous circumstantial evidence, the testimony of rational argument and the testimony of fresh revelation from God to me. These make up eight chapters. In chapter 9 there will be a brief comparison between Christianity and Islam, and there will be set out arguments in favour of the truth of Islam. In chapter 10 there will be a somewhat detailed account of aims, to carry out which I have been divinely appointed; there will be proofs of my being the Promised Messiah and of my having come from God. And, at the end, there will be an epilogue in which will be set out certain directions.
I hope readers of this book will read it diligently. I expect them not to throw away out of prejudice the truth contained in it. I should like to remind them that this is not a cursory investigation; nay, the proofs contained in this book have been made available after a deep and searching inquiry. I pray to God that He may help me in this undertaking and lead me through His special revelation and inspiration to the perfect Light of truth - for all true Knowledge and clear Realisation descend from Him, and only with His permission guide human hearts to Truth. Amen! Amen!
MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD
Qadian, 25 April 1899
Footnotes to Introduction
Some of the Ahl-i-Hadith impertinently and unjustly state in their books that the appearance of the Mahdi is imminent: that he will put into prison the British rulers of India and that the Christian king will be arrested and will be brought before him. Such books are still to be found in the houses of these Ahl-i-Hadith, one such being Iqtarab-us-Saat by a well known Ahl-i-Hadith, on page 64 of which such an account is to be found.
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Let it be noted that though Christians believe that Jesus (peace be on him) after his arrest through the betrayal by Judas Iscariot, and crucifixion -- and resurrection -- went to heaven, yet, from the Holy Bible, it appears that this belief of theirs is altogether wrong. Matthew (chapter 12, verse 40) says that just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the fish, so the Son of Man shall be three days and three nights in the bowels of the earth. Now it is clear that Jonah did not die in the belly of the fish; the utmost that happened was that he was in a swoon or a fit of fainting. The holy books of God bear witness that Jonah, by the grace of God, remained alive in the belly of the fish, and came out alive; and his people ultimately accepted him. If then Jesus (on whom be peace) had died in the belly of the 'fish', what resemblance could there be between a dead man and the one who was alive, and how could a living one be compared with one dead? The truth rather is, that as Jesus was a true prophet and as he knew that God, whose beloved he was, would save him from an accursed death, he made a prophecy in the form of a parable, revealed to him by God, in which he hinted that he would not die on the Cross, nor would he give up the ghost on the accursed wood; on the contrary, like the prophet Jonah, he would only pass through a state of swoon. In the parable he had also hinted that he would come out of the bowels of the earth and would then join the people and, like Jonah, would be honoured by them. So this prophecy too was fulfilled; for Jesus, coming out of the bowels of the earth, went to his tribes who lived in the eastern countries, Kashmir and Tibet, etc. viz. the ten tribes of the Israelites who 721 years1 before Jesus, had been taken prisoner from Samaria by Shalmaneser, King of Assur, and had been taken away by him. Ultimately, these tribes came to India and settled in various parts of that country. Jesus at all events must have made this journey; for the divine object underlying his advent was that he should meet the lost Jews who had settled in different parts of India; the reason being that these in fact were the lost sheep of Israel who had given up even their ancestral faith in these countries, and most of whom had adopted Buddhism, relapsing, gradually into idolatry. Dr. Bernier, on the authority of a number of learned people, states in his Travels that the Kashmiris in reality are Jews who in the time of the dispersal in the days of the King of Assur had migrated to this country.2
In any case it was necessary for Jesus (peace be on him) to find out the whereabouts of these lost sheep, who had, on coming to this country, India, become merged into the other people. I shall presently adduce evidence that Jesus (peace be on him) did in fact come to India and then, by stages, travelled to Kashmir, and discovered the lost sheep of Israel among the people who professed the Buddhist faith and that these people ultimately accepted him, just as the people of the prophet Jonah accepted Jonah. And this was inevitable, for Jesus had said in so many words that he had been sent to the lost sheep of Israel.
Apart from this, it was necessary that he should escape death on the cross, for it was stated in the Holy Book that whoever was hanged on the wood was accursed. It is a cruel and an unjust blasphemy to attribute a curse to an eminent person like Jesus, the Messiah, for, according to the agreed view of all who know the language, la'nat, or curse, has reference to the state of one's heart. A man would be said to be accursed when his heart, having been estranged from God, becomes really dark; when, deprived of divine mercy and of divine love, devoid absolutely of His Knowledge, blinded like the devil, he becomes filled with the poison of unbelief; when there remains not a ray of divine love and knowledge in him; when the bond of loyalty is broken, and between him and God there arises hatred and contempt and spite and hostility, so much so that God and he become mutual enemies; and when God becomes weary of him and he becomes weary of God; in short, when he becomes an heir to all the attributes of the Devil -- and that is why the Devil himself is called accursed.3
It is clear that the significance of the word Mal'un, viz. accursed, is so foul that it can never apply to any righteous person who entertains love of God in his heart. Alas! Christians did not ponder over the significance of a curse when they invented this belief; else, it were impossible for them to have used such a bad word for a righteous man like Jesus. Can we say that Jesus' heart was ever really estranged from God; that he had denied God, that he hated Him and had become His enemy? Can we ever think that Jesus had ever felt in his heart that he was estranged from God, that he was an enemy of God, and that he was immersed in the darkness of unbelief and denial? If, then, Jesus had never been in such a state of mind, that his heart was always full of love and the light of Divine Knowledge, is it for you, wise people, to ponder whether we can ever say that, not one, but thousands of curses from God had descended upon the heart of Jesus with all their evil significance? Never. Then, how can we say that he was, God forbid, accursed? It is a pity that once a man has given utterance to something, when he has taken his stand upon a particular belief, he is not inclined to give up that belief, however much the absurdity thereof be exposed. Desire to attain salvation, if grounded upon true foundations, is a praiseworthy thing, but where is the sense in having a desire for salvation which kills truth and which countenances, regarding a holy prophet arid a perfect man, the belief that he had as it were passed through a state in which he had been estranged from God, and in which, instead of unity of heart and unity of inclination, there had been produced a strangeness and aloofness, enmity and hatred; and, instead of light, darkness had surrounded his heart?
Let it also be noticed that this not only detracts from the prophethood and apostleship of Jesus (on whom be the peace of God) but it is also derogatory to his claim to spiritual eminence, holiness, love, and knowledge of God, to which he has repeatedly given expression in the gospels. Just look through the Bible; therein Jesus clearly claims that he is the Light of the world, that he is the Guide, and that he stands in a relation of great love towards God; that he has been honoured by a clean birth, and that he is the loved Son of God. How then, in spite of these pure and holy relations, can a curse, with all its significance, be attributed to Jesus? No, never. Therefore, there is no doubt that Jesus was not crucified, i.e., he did not die on the Cross, for his personality did not deserve the underlying consequence of death on the Cross. Not having been crucified, he was spared the impure implications of a curse, and no doubt it also proves that he did not go to heaven, for going to heaven formed part of this whole scheme and was a consequence of the idea of his having been crucified. Therefore, when it is proved that he was neither accursed, nor did he go to hell for three days, nor did he suffer death the other part of the scheme, namely, that he went to heaven, is proved to be wrong. On this point the Bible has more evidence which I proceed to state below. There is the statement of Jesus: 'But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee' (Matthew: chapter 26, verse 32). This verse clearly shows that Jesus, after he had come out of the tomb, went to Galilee and not to heaven. Jesus' words 'After I am risen' do not mean his rising up alive after he was dead; rather, as in the eyes of the Jews and the common people he had died on the Cross, he used words beforehand consistent with what they were to think of him in the future, and indeed, the man who was placed on the Cross, in whose hands and feet nails had been driven till he had fainted from pain, had become as good as dead; if such a man was saved from such a calamity and if he recovered his senses it would not be an exaggeration on his part to say that he had come to life again. There is no doubt that after so much suffering, Jesus' escape from death was a miracle; it was no ordinary event. But to think that he had died is wrong. It is true that in the books of the New Testament words of this kind occur, but this is a mistake of the writers of those books, just as they had committed mistakes in recording several other historical events. Commentators who have made researches into these books admit that the books of the New Testament have two parts: (1) the spiritual instruction received by the disciples from Jesus (peace be on him) which is the essence of the teachings of the Gospel; (2) historical events -- like the genealogy of Jesus; his arrest and his being beaten; the existence in his time of a miraculous pond, etc. These, the writers recorded by themselves; they were not revealed; rather, they were set down in accordance with the writer's own ideas. In some places there are undue exaggerations, as where it is stated that if all the miracles and works of Jesus were recorded in books, the earth would not be able to accommodate these books. How exaggerated is this statement!
Apart from this, it is not against usages of speech to describe the great calamity which had befallen Jesus as death. When a man, having passed through a life and death experience, is ultimately saved from it, the common speech of all peoples expresses the idea by the idiomatic expression -- 'he was given a new life', and no people to whatever country they may belong would demur at expressing that idea in this way.
After all that has been stated, it should be kept in mind that in the gospel of Barnabas, which must be available in the British Museum, it is stated that Jesus was not crucified, not did he die on the Cross. Now we can very well say that though this book is not included in the gospels and has been rejected summarily, yet there is no doubt that it is an ancient book, and it belongs to the period in which the other gospels were written. Is it not open to us to regard this ancient book as a book of history of ancient times and to make use of it as a book of history? Does it not follow from this book that at least at the time when the event of the Cross took place, people were not unanimous as to Jesus' dying on the Cross? Again, apart from this, when in the four gospels themselves there are such metaphors as the one about a dead person, that he is not dead but asleep, it is not beyond reason to suppose that a state of swoon might be described as a state of death. I have already stated that a prophet cannot lie. Jesus compared his three days' stay in the tomb to the three days of Jonah in the belly of the whale. This only shows that just as Jonah remained alive for three days in the belly of the whale, so did Jesus remain alive for three days in the tomb. The Jewish tombs of those days were not like the tombs of to-day; they were roomy and had an opening on one side, which was covered with a big stone. And, presently, I shall prove in due course that Jesus' tomb which has been recently discovered in Srinagar in Kashmir is of the same type as the one in which Jesus was placed in a state of swoon.
In short, the verse I have just quoted shows that Jesus after coming out of the tomb went to Galilee. The gospel of St. Mark says that after coming out of the tomb he was seen going on the road to Galilee, and ultimately he met the eleven disciples when they were at their meal; he showed them his hands and feet which were wounded and they thought that he was perhaps a spirit. Then he said to them:
Behold my hands and my feet, that it is myself; handle me and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have4
He took from them boiled fish and a piece of honeycomb and ate them in their presence.5
These verses show that it is certain that Jesus never went to heaven; rather, coming out of the tomb, he went to Galilee; -- like an ordinary man, in normal clothes, with a human body. If he had been resurrected after death, how was it that this body of spirit could still have borne the wounds inflicted upon him on the Cross? What need had he to eat? And if he required food then, he must be in need of food even now.
Readers should not be under any misconception: the Cross of the Jews was not like the hangman's noose of to-day from which deliverance alive is nearly impossible, for the Cross of those days had no rope to be put round the neck of the victim, nor was he subjected to a fall from a wooden plank and allowed to keep hanging; rather, he was just put on the Cross, and his hands and feet were nailed to it; and it was quite possible that if, after crucifying a person and driving nails into him, it was decided -- in a day or two -- to forgive him and spare his life, he was taken down alive before his bones had been broken, the punishment already undergone being deemed sufficient for him. If it was decided to kill him, he was kept on the Cross at least for three days; water or bread was not allowed to come near him, and he was left in this condition in the sun for three or more days, when his bones were broken and ultimately as a result of this torture he died. But the grace of Almighty God rescued Jesus from this torture which would have ended his life. Reading the gospel with care will show that Jesus (on whom be peace) did not remain on the Cross for three days; he did not have to suffer hunger or thirst for three days; nor were his bones broken. On the other hand, he remained on the Cross only for two hours, and the grace and mercy of God managed to bring about the crucifixion in the latter part of the day, which was a Friday, only a little time before sunset, the next day being the Sabbath, the feast Fasah of the Jews. According to Jewish custom it was unlawful and a punishable crime to let anyone remain on the Cross on the Sabbath day, or during the night previous to it; Jews, like Muslims, observed the lunar calendar, sunset being regarded as beginning the day. So, on the one hand, there was this circumstance which arose out of earthly causes, and, on the other, Almighty God brought into existence heavenly circumstances, namely, that when it was the sixth hour, there was a severe dust-storm which darkened the earth for three hours.6 This sixth hour was after twelve o'clock, i.e., close to the evening. Now, the Jews were afraid in this utter darkness, lest the night of the Sabbath should overtake them, and lest, having violated the sanctity of the Sabbath, they should deserve to be punished. Therefore, in all haste they took Jesus and the two thieves off their Crosses. In addition to all this, there was another heavenly cause, namely, that when Pilate presided at his court, his wife sent word to him not to have anything to do with that righteous person (i.e., not to attempt to punish him with death), for, she said, she had had a dream that night, which had troubled her very much.7 So, this angel, whom the wife of Pilate saw in her dream, would assure us and all fair-minded people, with certainty, that God had never intended that Jesus should die on the Cross. From the day of the creation of this world, never has it occurred that God should suggest to a person in a dream that a particular thing would happen in a certain way, and still that thing should fail to happen. For example, the gospel of Matthew says that an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Arise and take the young child and the mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him'.8 Now, can anyone say that Jesus could be killed in Egypt? Similarly the dream which the wife of Pilate dreamt was a part of God's design, and it could never be that this design should fail in its object; and just as the possibility of Jesus being put to death during the Egyptian journey was against a specific promise of God, so here it is unthinkable that the angel of Almighty God should appear to the wife of Pilate and should direct her to say that if Jesus died on the Cross it would not be a happy thing for her, and yet the angel's appearance should go in vain, and Jesus should be allowed to suffer death on the Cross. Is there any example of this in the world? None. The pure conscience of all good men, when informed of the dream of Pilate's wife, will no doubt testify that it was a fact that the purpose of that dream was to lay the foundation for the rescue of Jesus. It is of course open to everybody to deny an out-and-out truth; out of prejudice born of his creed, he may refuse to accept it, but fairness would oblige us to believe that the dream of Pilate's wife is a piece of weighty evidence in support of Jesus' escape from the Cross. The first in rank among the gospels, i.e., Matthew, has recorded this evidence. Although, therefore, the powerful evidence which I shall set out in this book invalidates the divinity of Jesus and the doctrine of Atonement, yet honesty and love of fairness require us not to be partial to a communal or customary creed on a question of fact. From the day of the creation of man up till to-day the limited intellect of man has invested a thousand things with Divinity and Godhead, so much so that even cats and snakes have been worshipped; nevertheless wise people, through heaven's help, have continued to be saved from the evil of such polytheistic beliefs.
Among the testimonies of the Bible in support of Jesus' escape from death on the Cross is his journey to a far-off place, on which he started after coming out of the tomb. On the morning of Sunday he first met Mary Magdalene, who at once informed the disciples that Jesus was alive, but they did not believe it. Then he was seen by two of the disciples when they were going out to the countryside; and last of all he appeared to the eleven when they were at their meal and censured them for their callousness and lack of faith.9 When two disciples of Jesus were going towards the hamlet called Emmaus which was at a distance of 3.75 miles from Jerusalem, Jesus met them; and when they were near that hamlet, Jesus went forward to part company with them, but they did not allow him to go, saying that that night they would be together. He then dined with them, and all of them, along with Jesus, spent the night at the village named Emmaus.10 Now, to say that Jesus did all this with a spiritual body (which is supposed to be the nature of the body after death), which only the physical body was capable of doing, as, for example, eating and drinking, and sleeping, and making a long journey to Galilee which was at a distance of seventy miles from Jerusalem, is saying something impossible and quite against reason. In spite of the fact that on account of individual bias the accounts of the gospels have differed, the texts as they are, nevertheless, clearly show that Jesus met his disciples in the ordinary mortal human body, and made a long journey on foot to Galilee; showed his wounds to the disciples, dined with them at night, and slept in their company.
Now, here one has to consider whether, after acquiring an eternal spiritual body, i.e., after gaining that immortal body which entitled him, having been freed from the necessity of eating and drinking, to sit on the right hand of God and to be free of all wounds, and pain, and infirmities, it still suffered from one defect, although it had the glory of the Eternal and Ever-Existing God -- the defect, namely, that his body had on it fresh wounds of the Cross and the nails, which were bleeding and were very painful and for which an ointment had been prepared, and even after acquiring a glorious and an immortal body, eternally sound, faultless, perfect, and unchangeable, that same body continued to suffer from defects of many kinds: Jesus himself showed to his disciples the flesh and bones of his body, and again, not only this, but there were also the pangs of hunger and thirst -- necessities of the mortal body; otherwise, where was the need for him during the journey to Galilee to do such useless things as eating and drinking water, resting, and sleeping? Undoubtedly, hunger and thirst, in this world, are painful for the mortal body, which may even prove fatal if they become extreme. So there is no doubt that Jesus did not die on the Cross, nor did he acquire a new spiritual body: rather, he was in a state of death-like swoon. Through the grace of God, it so happened that the tomb in which he was placed was not like the tombs of this country; it was an airy apartment. In those days the custom of the Jews was to make the tomb airy like a commodious chamber, leaving an opening in it. Such tombs were kept ready; and as the occasion required, dead bodies were interred in them. The gospels bear clear testimony to this: Luke says, 'Now upon the first day of the week very early in the morning [i.e., when it was still dark] they [i.e., the women] came unto the sepulchre bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre [just consider this!] and they entered in and found not the body of the Lord Jesus'.11 Now consider for a moment the words, 'They entered in.' It is evident that a man can only enter a tomb which is like a room and has an opening. I shall state in this book, at the proper place, that the tomb of Jesus (peace be on him) which has recently been discovered in Srinagar, in Kashmir, has an opening like this tomb. This is a fine point which when pondered over will lead investigators in this field to a great and important conclusion.
Among the testimonies of the gospels are the words of Pilate, recorded by St. Mark: 'And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, who also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead.'12 This would show that at the time of the crucifixion itself a doubt had been raised whether Jesus had in fact died and the doubt emanated from no less a person than one who knew from experience how long it took a person to die on the Cross.
Among the testimonies of the gospels is the verse, 'The Jews, therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the Cross on the Sabbath day (for that Sabbath day was an high day), besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers and broke the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was dead already they broke not his legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water'.13 These verses clearly show that in order to put an end to the life of a crucified person it was the practice in those days to keep him on the Cross for several days, and then to break his legs, but the legs of Jesus were purposely not broken, and he was taken down alive from the Cross, like the two thieves. That was the reason why there came out blood when his side was pierced. The blood however, conceals after death. And, here, it appears also that all this was the result of a conspiracy. Pilate was a God-fearing and a good-hearted man; he could not openly show favour to Jesus for fear of the Caesar; for the Jews had declared Jesus a rebel. All the same, Pilate was lucky to have seen Jesus but the Caesar was not so fortunate; the former not only saw Jesus but also showed him a great favour -- he did not desire that Jesus should suffer crucifixion. The gospels point out clearly that Pilate had several times resolved to let Jesus go, but the Jews said that if he would let him go he would be disloyal to Caesar; they also said that Jesus was a rebel who wished to be king.14 And the dream which Pilate's wife had, further prompted the freeing of Jesus; otherwise, Pilate and his wife themselves would have been exposed to disaster. But, as the Jews were a mischievous people, ready even secretly to inform the Caesar of Pilate's action, Pilate made use of a device to rescue Jesus: first, he fixed Friday for the crucifixion, only a few hours before sunset, and the night of the Great Sabbath was about to fall. Pilate knew very well that the Jews, in accordance with the commandments of their law, could keep Jesus on the Cross only till the evening, and after that it was unlawful to keep anybody on the Cross. Accordingly, it all happened in this very manner; and Jesus was taken down from the Cross before it was evening. It is improbable that the thieves who were crucified at the same time as Jesus should have remained alive, but that Jesus should have died within two hours. It was an excuse made up to save Jesus from the process of leg breaking. The fact that both the thieves were taken down alive from the Cross is sufficient evidence for an intelligent person: and taking down the victims alive from the Cross was the usual custom; they died only when their bones were broken, or when they were allowed to remain on the Cross without food or drink for some days. But Jesus had none of these experiences -- he neither remained for any number of days on the Cross, nor were his bones broken; and by making it appear that Jesus had died the Jews were made to forget the whole matter. The thieves, however, were killed immediately -- their bones were broken. It would have been different if it had been said in regard to one of the thieves also that he was dead and that there was no need to break his bones. And a man named Joseph -- an honoured friend of Pilate and a notable person in the locality and a secret disciple of Jesus -- presented himself at the right time. I suspect that he too was called at Pilate's suggestion. And Jesus having been taken for dead, his body was made over to him, for he was a big man with whom the Jews could have no quarrel. Arriving at the scene he carried away Jesus as if he were a corpse. Actually he was in a state of swoon. There was a spacious house near by, built according to the custom of the time like a tomb, with an opening in it, and situated at a place with which the Jews had nothing to do. Jesus was placed in this house at the suggestion of Pilate. These events happened in the fourteenth century after the death of Moses; and, Jesus was the Restorer of the Israelite law in the fourteenth century. Though the Jews were looking out in this fourteenth century for the Promised Messiah, and the prophecies of the previous prophets also pointed to this very time for his appearance, yet, alas! the unworthy priests of the Jews did not recognise the time and the season, and rejected the Promised Messiah as an impostor. Not only this; they declared him a Kafir, called him an unbeliever, pronounced the decree of death against him, and dragged him into court. This showed that God had assembled in the fourteenth century the influences which made the people's hearts callous, the priests worldly, blind, and enemies of truth. Yet, a comparison between the fourteenth century after Moses and the fourteenth after the 'like' of Moses -- our Holy Prophet (may peace and the blessings of God be upon him) -- will show, first that in each of these centuries there was a man who claimed to be the promised Messiah; a true claim resting on the authority of God. Then, it would also appear that the priests of the people declared both of them Kafirs, and called them unbelievers and Dajjals, and pronounced Fatwas of death against them, and dragged them into court -- a Roman court in one case and a British in the other. Ultimately, both were rescued; and the priests -- the Jews and the Muslims -- were foiled in their designs. God had intended to raise great communities for both the Messiahs, and to defeat the designs of their enemies, In short, the fourteenth century after Moses and the fourteenth century after our Holy Prophet (peace and the blessings of God be upon him) are for their respective Messiahs trying, as well as -- in the long run -- blessed.
Among the testimonies which show that Jesus (peace be on him) was saved from the Cross is the one narrated in Matthew, chapter 26, verses 36 to 46, which relate that after getting information, through revelation, of his impending arrest, Jesus prayed to God all night, on his face, and in tears, and such prayer offered with such humility, and for which Jesus had ample time, could not go unaccepted; for the cry of an elect of God, addressed at a time of distress, is never turned down. How was it then, that the prayer of Jesus which he had addressed all night with a painful heart and in a state of distress was rejected? Jesus had said: The Father who is in heaven listens to me. Therefore, when his prayer addressed in such a state of distress was not heard, how can it be said that God heard his prayers? The gospels also show that Jesus (peace be on him) was certain at heart that his prayer had been accepted; he had great confidence in that prayer. That is why when he was arrested and put on the Cross, and when he found the circumstances not according to his expectations, he involuntarily cried 'Eli, Eli lama sabachthani', meaning, 'My God, my God why hast Thou forsaken me.', i.e., he did not expect that it would come to this -- that he would die on the Cross. He believed that his prayer would be heard. So, both these references to the gospel show that Jesus firmly believed that his prayer would be heard and accepted, that his tearful supplications addressed throughout the night would not be wasted, whereas he had himself taught his disciples, on divine authority: When you pray, the prayer will be accepted. Further, he had also narrated the parable of the judge who feared neither man nor God. The purpose of this parable was that the disciples should realise that God undoubtedly answered prayers. Although Jesus knew from God that there was a great affliction in store for him, yet, like all righteous persons, he prayed to God, believing that there was nothing impossible for God and that God determined whether any events would happen or not. Therefore, the rejection of Jesus' own prayer would have shaken the faith of the disciples. Was it possible to place before the disciples an example destructive of their faith? If they had seen with their own eyes that the prayer of a great prophet like Jesus, addressed all night with burning passion, was not accepted, the unfortunate example would have been very trying for their faith. Therefore, the Merciful God could not but have accepted this prayer. It is certain the prayer offered at Gethsemane was accepted.
There is another point in this connection. Just as there was a conspiracy to kill Jesus, and for this propose the chief priests and the scribes assembled together at the palace of the high priest called Caiaphas to devise a plan to kill Jesus, so there was a conspiracy to murder Moses, and, likewise, there was a secret consultation in Mecca at the place called Dar-ul-Nadwa to murder our Holy Prophet (peace and the blessings of God be upon him). But the powerful God saved both these great prophets from evil designs. The conspiracy against Jesus was, in point of time, in between the other two. Then, why was not Jesus saved when he had prayed more vehemently than either? Why was not Jesus' prayer heard, when God hears the prayers of His beloved servants and frustrates the plans of the wicked? All the righteous know by experience that the prayer of the distressed and the afflicted is accepted; nay, the hour of affliction, for a righteous person, is the hour for a sign. I have had personal experience of this. A false charge of attempt to murder was brought against me two years ago by one, Dr. Martin Clark, a Christian, residing at Amritsar in the Punjab, before a court in the District of Gurdaspur, alleging that I had sent one, Abdul Hamid by name, to murder the said doctor. It so happened that I was opposed in this case by several scheming persons belonging to the three communities, namely Christians, Hindus and Muslims; they tried their best to prove the charge of attempted murder against me. The Christians had against me the grievance that I was trying -- and I am trying even now -- to rescue humanity from the false ideas which Christians entertain regarding Jesus; and this was the first taste of the treatment that I had had from them. The Hindus were displeased with me because I had made a prophecy regarding the death of one, Lekh Ram, a Pandit, with his consent, and the prophecy was fulfilled within the appointed time -- a terrible sign from God. Likewise, the Muslim Maulvis were angry because I was opposed to the idea of a bloody Messiah and to the doctrine of Jihad as understood by them. So, some important personages of these three communities counselled together with a view to proving the charge of murder against me, so that I should either be hanged or imprisoned. They were thus an unjust people in the sight of God. God informed me of this before the hour of their secret consultations. He gave me the tidings of ultimate acquittal. These pure revelations from God were announced beforehand to hundreds of people; and when after the revelation, I prayed: Lord! save me from this affliction; it was revealed to me that God would save me and clear me of the charge brought against me. This revelation was verbally communicated to more than three hundred persons many of whom are still alive. It so happened that my enemies produced false witnesses in court, and nearly 'proved' the case -- witnesses of the three communities mentioned earlier, deposing against me. Then, it so happened that the facts of that case were disclosed in various ways by God to the magistrate before whom that case was pending, whose name was Captain W. Douglas, the Deputy Commissioner of Gurdaspur. He was satisfied that the case was false. Then, caring not for the doctor who was also a missionary, his sense of justice caused him to dismiss that case, and thus whatever I had proclaimed about my acquittal on the authority of divine revelation to hundreds of people, and in public meetings turned out to be true notwithstanding the dangerous trend of the attending circumstances, which served to strengthen the faith of many people. Not only this. More charges of this kind and accusations of a criminal character were preferred against me on the above grounds, and cases were taken to court, but before I could be summoned by the court, God informed me of the origin and the end of the whole affair, and in every serious case I was given the glad news of acquittal.
The point in this is that God Almighty undoubtedly accepts prayers especially when His trustful servants, go to His door oppressed; He attends to their plaints, and helps them in strange ways. Of this I myself am a witness. Why is it then that the prayer of Jesus uttered in such agony was not accepted? No, it was accepted. God saved him. God created circumstances on earth and in heaven to rescue him. John, the prophet Yahya, had had no time to pray, for his end had arrived, but Jesus had the whole night to pray, and he spent the whole night in prayer, standing and in prostration before God, for God had willed that he should give expression to his distress and should ask for his release from Him to Whom nothing was impossible. So the Lord, in accordance with His eternal practice, heard his prayer. The Jews uttered a falsehood when, crucifying Jesus, they made the taunt that he relied upon God: why did not God save him? For God nullified all the designs of the Jews and saved His beloved Messiah from the Cross and the curse involved in it. The Jews had failed.
Among the testimonies of the gospel which have reached us is the verse from Matthew: 'That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation'.15 Now, if you think over these verses you will find that Jesus (peace be on him) clearly states that the killing of prophets by the Jews ceased with the prophet Zacharias, and that after that, the Jews would have no power to kill any prophet. This is a great prophecy which clearly points out that Jesus (peace be on him) was not killed as the result of crucifixion; he was rather saved from the Cross, dying ultimately a natural death. For if Jesus (peace be on him) was also to suffer death by murder like Zacharias, at the hands of the Jews, he would have hinted in these verses at his own murder. If it is urged that Jesus (peace be on him) also was killed by the Jews but his being killed was not a sin on the Jews' part, for Jesus' death was of the nature of an atonement, the contention is hardly tenable, for in John, chap. 19, verse 11, Jesus clearly says that the Jews have been guilty of a great sin for having resolved to kill Jesus; and likewise, in many other places there is the clear hint that as a penalty for the crime of which they had been guilty against Jesus, they had deserved punishment in the sight of God.16
And among the testimonies of the gospel which have reached us is the verse of Matthew, namely: 'Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.'17 Likewise, the verse in John: 'Jesus saith unto him, if I will that he (i.e., the disciple, John) tarry (i.e., in Jerusalem) till I come.'18 This means: 'If I will, John will not die till I come again'. These verses show with great clarity that Jesus (peace be on him) had made a promise that some people would continue to live till his return; among these he had named John. So the fulfilment of this promise was inevitable. Accordingly, even Christians have admitted that in order that the prophecy may be taken to have been fulfilled, Jesus' coming at a time when some of the people of that age were still alive was inevitable, so that the prophecy should have been fulfilled according to its promise. This is the basis of the clergyman's declaration that Jesus, in accordance with his promise, had come to Jerusalem at the time of its destruction and that John had seen him, as he was alive at that time. But let it be noted that Christians do not say that Jesus really came down from heaven accompanied by appointed signs; they rather say that he appeared to John as in a vision, that he might fulfil his prophecy contained in verse 28 of chapter 16 of Matthew. But I say that coming of this kind does not fulfil the prophecy. That is a very weak interpretation which only avoids with difficulty the criticism levelled against this position. This interpretation is patently untenable and wrong, so much so, that there is no need to refute it, for if Jesus had to appear to anyone in a dream or a vision, a prophecy of this kind would be ridiculous.19 In such manner Jesus had also appeared to Paul long before this. It appears that the prophecy contained in verse 28 of chapter 16 of Matthew has caused a panic among the padres and they have not been able to give it a rational meaning in accordance with their own beliefs, for it was difficult for them to say that Jesus at the time of the sacking of Jerusalem had descended from heaven in glory, and that like the lightning that lights up all heaven and is seen by everybody, all had seen him; and also it was not easy for them to ignore the statement, namely: Some of those who were standing here will not taste death till they have seen the Son of man coming in his Kingdom. Therefore, as a result of a laboured interpretation they believed in the fulfilment of the prophecy in the shape of a vision. But this is not true; righteous servants of God always appear in visions to the elect and for a vision it is not even necessary that they should appear only in a dream; nay, they can be seen even in the waking state; I myself have experienced such phenomena.
I have seen Jesus (on whom be peace) many a time in Kashf (vision in the waking state), and I have met some of the prophets, while fully awake; I have also seen our Chief, Master and Leader, the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and the blessings of God be upon him) many a time in the waking state, and I have talked to him -- in such a clear state of waking that sleep or drowsiness had nothing to do with it. I have also met some of the dead at their graves or other places, while awake; and have talked to them. I very well know that such meeting with the dead in the waking state is possible; not only can we meet, we can also talk, and even have a handshake. Between this and the ordinary state of waking there is not difference in such an experience; one realises that one is in this very world; one has the same ears, the same eyes, and the same tongue; but deeper reflection reveals a different universe. The world has no realisation of this sort of experience, for the world lives a life of indifference. This experience is a gift from heaven; it is for those who are endowed with new senses. This is a fact -- actual and true. Therefore, when Jesus appeared to John after the destruction of Jerusalem, though he was seen by the latter in the waking state, and though there may have been some talk and a hand-shake, nevertheless, the incident has nothing to do with the prophecy. Such phenomena often happen in the world; and even now, if I devote some attention to it, I can, with the grace of God, in the waking state, see Jesus or some other holy prophet. Such a meeting does not fulfil the prophecy (contained in Matthew, chapter 16, verse 28).
So, what actually happened was that Jesus knew that he would be saved from the Cross and would migrate to another land, that God would neither let him die nor would take him away from this world, so long as he had not seen the destruction of the Jews with his own eyes, and that he would not die so long as the fruits of the Kingdom, which the spiritually eminent are given by heaven, were not realised. Jesus made this prophecy so that he might give an assurance to the disciples that, presently they would see the signs that those who had raised the sword against him would be killed with the sword during his own life-time and in his very presence. If, therefore, evidence is of any value there is for Christians no evidence greater than this: that Jesus with his own tongue makes the prophecy that some of them would still be alive when he would come again.
It should be noticed that the gospels contain two kinds of prophecies about the coming of Jesus: (1) The promise of his coming in the latter days; his coming is of a spiritual character, and resembles the second coming of the prophet Elijah, in the time of Jesus. So, like Elijah, he has already appeared in this age; and it is I, the writer; a servant of humanity, who has come as the Promised Messiah, in the name of Jesus (on whom be peace). Jesus has given the news of my coming in the gospels. Blessed is he who, out of respect for Jesus, ponders with honesty and truth over my coming, and thus saves himself from stumbling. (2) The other kind of prophecies regarding the second coming of Jesus mentioned in the gospels have, in reality, been mentioned as evidence of the life which, by the grace of God, remained intact during the experience of the Cross; God saved His eminent servant from death on the Cross, as the prophecy just now mentioned implies -- Christians are in error in mixing up these two contexts: because of this, they are confused and have to face many difficulties. In short, the verse in chapter 16 of Matthew is a very important piece of evidence in support of Jesus' escape from the Cross.
Among the testimonies of the gospels which have reached us, is the following verse of Matthew: 'And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.' (See Matthew, chapter 24, verse 30). The meaning of this verse is: Jesus (on whom be peace) says that a time will come when, from heaven, viz. as a result of the power of divine intervention, there would come into being knowledge, arguments and evidence which will invalidate the beliefs of Jesus' divinity, his death on the Cross and his going up into heaven and coming again; and that heaven will bear witness against the lies of those who denied his being a true prophet, for example, the Jews; and who, on the other hand, regarded him, because of his crucifixion, as a man accursed, for the fact of his not having suffered death on the Cross and therefore of his not being accursed would be clearly established; that then all the nations of the earth, who had exaggerated or detracted from his true status would become greatly ashamed of their error; that, in the same age, when this fact would be established, people would see Jesus' metaphorical descent to the earth, i.e., in those very days the Promised Messiah, who would come in the power and spirit of Jesus, would appear with all the lustrous signs, and heavenly support and with the power and glory which would be recognised. The verse -- further explained -- means that God's destiny has made the personality of Jesus and fashioned the events of his life so as to cause some people to exaggerate, and others to minimize his status, i.e., there are people who have taken him out of the category of human beings, so much so that they say that he has not yet died and is sitting alive in heaven. The people who have outrun these are those who say that, having died on the Cross and come to life again, he has gone up to heaven and become invested with all the powers of divinity; nay, he is God Himself. The other people are the Jews, who say that he was killed on the Cross and therefore (I take refuge with God for saying so) he is accursed for all time; he is doomed to be the object of perpetual wrath; God is displeased with him, and looks upon him as a hated enemy; that he is a liar and an impostor and (I take refuge with God for saying so) a Kafir, a rank unbeliever; that he is not from God. This exaggeration and detraction were so unjust that it could not but be that God should clear His true prophet of these charges. The verse of the gospel mentioned before points to this fact. The statement that all the tribes of the earth would mourn, suggests that all those tribes to whom the description underlying the word 'nation' applies would mourn on that day; they would beat their breasts and cry, and great would be their mourning. Here Christians should follow the verse in question with some attention; they should consider that when the verse contains the prophecy that all the nations would beat their breasts, how is it that they should have nothing to do with this mourning? Are they not a nation? When, in accordance with this verse, they are included among those who are the beaters of breasts, why do they not attend to their salvation? The verse clearly says that when the sign of Jesus would appear in heaven all the nations inhabiting the earth would mourn. So the man who says that his tribe would not mourn denies Jesus. The people, however, who are yet small in number cannot have been the people hinted at in the prophecy; they are not fit to be described as a 'nation'; and that, people or tribe are we; nay, ours is the only community which is outside the meaning and scope of this prophecy, for this community has yet only a few adherents to whom the word 'nation' or 'tribe' cannot be applied. Jesus, on the authority of divine inspiration, says that when a sign appears in the heavens all the people of the world who, on account of their numbers, would deserve to be described as a 'tribe' or 'nation' would beat their breasts; there would be no exception but a people small in number to whom the word 'nation' would not apply. Neither Christians, nor Muslims, nor Jews, not yet any other denier, can keep out of this prophecy. Our Jama'at alone is outside its scope for they have just been sown as a seed by God. The word of a prophet can never fail. When the words contain the clear hint that every nation inhabiting the world would mourn, which of these people can claim to be outside their scope? Jesus admits of no exception in this verse. The group, however, which has not yet attained the size of a 'tribe' or a 'nation' is in any case an exception' -- viz. our Jama'at. This prophecy has been clearly fulfilled in this age, for the truth which has now been discovered regarding Jesus is undoubtedly the cause of the mourning of all these tribes, for it has exposed the errors of all. The hue and cry of Christians over the divinity of Jesus changes into sighs of grief; the insistence of Muslims -- day and night -- that Jesus has gone up to the skies alive, changes into weeping and wailing; and as for the Jews, they lose everything.
Here it is necessary to mention that in the statement contained in the said verse, namely, that at that time all the nations of the earth would beat their breasts, 'earth' means the Balad-i-Sham [Palestine and Syria] with which these three peoples are connected -- Jews, because that is their place of origin and their place of worship; Christians, because Jesus appeared in that place, and the first community of the Christian religion rose from that country; Muslims, because they are to be heirs to this land to the Last Day. If the word 'earth' is taken to embrace all countries, even then there is no difficulty, for when the truth is laid bare, all deniers would be ashamed.
Among the testimonies which have reached us through the gospels, is the statement set out below from the gospel of Matthew: 'And the graves were opened, and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his (viz. Jesus') resurrection and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.'20 There is not the slightest doubt that the story mentioned in the gospel, namely, that after the resurrection of Jesus the saints came out of the graves and appeared alive to many, is not based on historical fact; for, if it had been so, the Judgment Day would have been enacted in this very world, and that which had been kept secret as a test of faith and sincerity would have been made manifest to all; faith would not have been faith, and, in the sight of every believer and denier, the nature of the next world would have become an evident and a patent fact, just as the existence of the moon, the sun, and the alternation of day and night is an evident fact. In that case, faith would not have been a valued and a valuable thing such as could have merited any kind of reward.
If the people and past prophets of Israel whose number is millions, had really been brought to life at the time of the Crucifixion and had come to the city alive, and if this miracle -- that hundreds of prophets, and many hundred thousand of saints, were all brought to life at the same time -- was really shown in proof of the truth and divinity of Jesus, the Jews had an excellent opportunity to inquire of the prophets brought back to life, and of the other saints, as well as their own deceased ancestors, whether Jesus who claimed to be God was really God or whether he had only lied. They probably did not lose this opportunity. They must have inquired about Jesus, for they were very keen to inquire from the dead if they could be restored to life. When, therefore, hundreds of thousands of the dead were restored to life, and came to the city, and thousands of them repaired to each quarter thereof, how could the Jews let go an opportunity like this? They must have inquired, not from one or two, but from thousands; and when the dead entered their respective houses there must have been great excitement in every house, for many hundred thousand of them had been restored to the world. In every house there must have been great talk, and everybody must have been questioning the dead as to whether they knew that the man who called himself Jesus, the Messiah, was really God. But, because the Jews did not believe in Jesus, as could be expected, nor did their hearts soften, rather did they become confirmed in their hard-heartedness, it appears probably that the dead did not speak a favourable word for him. They must have given without hesitation the reply that this man was making a false claim to Godhood, and was uttering a lie against God. That was why the Jews did not desist from mischief, in spite of hundreds of thousands of prophets and apostles being restored to life. Having 'killed' Jesus, they attempted to kill others. How can one believe that hundreds of thousands of saints who, from the time of Adam up to the time of John the Baptist, had been lying in their graves in that blessed earth, should all be brought back to life? -- that they should all come to the city to preach, and everyone of them should stand up and bear witness before thousands of people that Jesus, the Messiah, was really the Son of God -- no, God Himself; that only he should be worshipped; that the people should renounce their former beliefs; otherwise, they would go to hell, which these saints had themselves witnessed! and yet notwithstanding such excellent evidence and such eye-witness accounts which proceeded from the mouths of hundreds of thousands of dead saints the Jews should not desist from their denial! I personally am not prepared to believe this. Therefore, if hundreds of thousands of saints and prophets and apostles, etc., who were dead, had really come to life and had come to the city to give evidence, they must undoubtedly have given unfavourable evidence; they could never have borne witness to the divinity of Jesus. This seems to be the reason why the Jews, having listened to the evidence of the dead, became confirmed in their unbelief. Jesus wanted to get them to believe in his divinity, but they, as a result of this evidence, denied that he was even a prophet.
In short, such beliefs have a highly injurious and evil effect -- the beliefs, namely, that one should say that these hundreds of thousands of dead persons, or any dead person before that time, had been brought back to life by Jesus; for the restoration to life of those dead did not serve any useful purpose. A person who has visited a far-off country and who comes to his home-town after several years or absence, is naturally keen to tell the people of his strange experiences, and to relate to them the wonderful stories of the land he has visited; he will not keep mum or be tongue-tied when he meets his people after a long period of separation. No, at such a time, others also are keen to hasten to him and to question him about that land; and if, perchance, there comes to these people some poor and lowly person, humble in appearance, and who yet claims to be the king of the country, of which the principal town had been seen by these people and who says that he is superior in his kingly rank even to such and such other king, the people always question such itinerants as to whether such and such a man, going about at that time in their country, is really the king of that land; and then, those travellers, according as they may have observed, make replies to such questions. This being so, the bringing of the dead to life by Jesus was, as I have stated before, worthy of being believed in, in case the evidence on which the dead must have been questioned -- which questioning was natural -- had led to some useful result. But here it is not so. Therefore, along with the supposition that the dead were brought back to life, one is compelled also to suppose that the dead did not give evidence favourable to Jesus, such as could lead one to believe in his truth; they rather gave evidence which added to the confusion. Would that instead of truly human beings brought to life, some animal had been declared to have been restored to life! It would then have solved many difficulties. For example, if it had been said that Jesus had brought back to life several thousand bullocks, it would have been 'reasonable' enough, and, if in this case there had been raised the objection as to what the evidence of these dead animals had led to, one could have immediately answered that they were bullocks -- they had no tongue to give favourable or unfavourable evidence! The dead, however, which Jesus brought back to life were human beings. Suppose some of the Hindus were asked to-day whether, if ten or twenty of their dead ancestors were restored to life and brought back to this world, and if they were to state that such and such a religion was the true religion, they would still have any doubt regarding the truth of that religion. They would never say so. Therefore, take it for certain that there is no man in the whole world who would persist in his unbelief and denial after a disclosure of this kind. I am sorry that in framing such stories the Sikhs of our country have fared better than Christians. The Sikhs have given proof of their astuteness in the art of inventing stories; for they state that their Guru, Bawa Nanak, once restored a dead elephant to life. Now this is a 'miracle' which is not open to the above objection. For the Sikhs can say: the elephant had no tongue to speak with that he should have borne witness in favour of or against Bawa Nanak. In short, ordinary people, endowed with little intellect, are pleased with such 'miracles' but the wise become the target of other people's criticism and are thus worried over it. They are put to shame before those to whom such silly stories are being related. Now, as I bear the same feelings of love and sincerity towards Jesus as do the Christians; nay, I have a stronger attachment to him, for Christians do not know the man whom they praise, but I know him whom I praise, for I have seen him; therefore, I proceed now to reveal the real nature of reports made in the Gospels -- such as the report that at the time of the Crucifixion all the dead saints had been restored to life and had come to the city.
Therefore, let it be clearly understood that accounts like these are of the nature of Kashf or a vision seen after the Crucifixion by some holy persons -- that the dead saints had been brought back to life and had come to the city where they paid visits to the people. Just as dreams have their interpretation mentioned even in the Holy Book of God -- for example, Joseph's dream had had an interpretation -- this vision also had to have an interpretation of its own; and this interpretation was that Jesus had not died on the Cross; that God had rescued him from death on the Cross. If the question were asked as to wherefrom did I get this interpretation, the answer is that leading authorities on the art of interpretation so state it, and all interpreters have borne witness to it by their experience. I quote here from the interpretation of a leading ancient authority on the art of interpretation, i.e., the author of T'atirul-Anam.
See Kitab T'atirul-Anam fi T'abirul-Manam by Qutbuz-Zaman Shaikh Abdul Ghani Al-Nablisi, page 289, which, translated, is that if anyone sees a dream or a vision of the nature of Kashf, that the dead have come out of the graves and have made for their homes, the interpretation is that a prisoner would be released from his bondage, and that he would be rescued from the hands of his persecutors. The context shows that this prisoner would be a great and a high personage. Now, it would be noticed how this interpretation applies with reason to Jesus. One can readily understand that the dead saints having been brought to life appeared to be making for the city to point out this fact, so that the wise might know that Jesus had been saved from death on the Cross.
Likewise, many more references in the gospels clearly point out that Jesus did not die on the Cross; he was saved from it, and migrated to another land. But, I think, what I have stated is sufficient for the unprejudiced.
It is possible some may be entertaining in their hearts the objection that the gospels repeatedly say that Jesus died on the Cross, and then having been brought back to life, went up to heaven. This kind of objection I have already briefly answered, but I might say again that Jesus' (peace be on him) meeting the disciples after his Crucifixion; his travelling up to Galilee; eating bread and meat; his display of wounds on his body: staying a night with the disciples at Emmaus; fleeing secretly from Pilate's jurisdiction; emigrating from that place, as was the practice of prophets; and travelling under the shadow of fear -- all these events are conclusive that he did not die on the Cross; that his body retained its mortal character; and that it had undergone no change.
There is no evidence in the gospels that anyone saw Jesus ascend to heaven; and even if there had been such evidence, it would have been unworthy of credence, for making mountains out of mole-hills and magnifying small things into big seems to be a habit with the gospel writers. For example, if one happens to say that Jesus is the Son of God, another sets about making him into a full-fledged God, the third invests him with power over the whole universe, and the fourth bluntly says that he is everything, and that there is no other God besides him. In short, exaggerations carry them very far away. If one considers the vision in which the dead were seen to come out of their graves and to make for the city, one would notice that this vision had been given its outer and apparent interpretation, so far as to say, that the dead had literally risen out of their graves and come to the city of Jerusalem, where they had paid visits to their people. Now, just see, how a 'feather' has been made into a 'crow'; and, then it is no longer one crow, but many million. When things are so exaggerated, we have no means of finding out the truth. It is further worth considering that these gospels, called the Books of God, contain preposterous claims, such as that, if all the works of Jesus had been reduced to writing, these could not have been accommodated in the whole world! Is such exaggeration the way of honesty and truth? If the works of Jesus were so unlimited, and if they could not be circumscribed, how is it that they were confined to a period of three years? Another difficulty about these gospels is that they give wrong references to some of the earlier books; they do not state accurately even the genealogy of Jesus. From the gospels it appears that these persons were dull of understanding, so much that some of them took Jesus for a ghost. These gospels from the earliest times have been open to the charge that they have not preserved the purity of their texts, and there being many other books called gospels, there is no sound reason why all the statements of these other books should be rejected, and why all that is contained in the gospels generally so called should be admitted as true. No one can say that the other gospels contain such unfounded exaggerations as are to be found in these four gospels. It is surprising that while on the one hand they say that Jesus was a righteous person and that his character was without blemish, on the other hand there are brought against him charges unworthy of any righteous person. For example, the Israelite prophets, in accordance with the teaching of the Torah, undoubtedly had hundreds of wives at one time in order that they might thereby multiply a generation of righteous persons, but you will never have heard that any prophet had ever set such an example of freedom that he should allow an impure and an adulterous woman, a noted sinner of the city, to touch his body with her hands, to let her rub oil into his head -- art of her immoral gains -- and to rub her hair on his feet; that he should allow all this to be done by an unchaste young woman, and should not say to her 'Don't'. One is saved from giving way to suspicion which naturally arises on seeing such a thing -- only by trusting the goodness of Jesus. Nevertheless, the example is not good for others. In short, these gospels contain many things which show that they have not preserved their original form, or that their writers were some other persons -- not the disciples. For example, can the statement of the gospel according to Matthew: 'And this is well known among the Jews till to-day', be properly ascribed to Matthew? Does it not show that the writer of the gospel of Matthew was some other person who lived at a time when Matthew had already died? Then, the same gospel of Matthew21 says: And they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, his disciples came by night and stole him away while we slept'. It would be noticed how unconvincing and irrational such statements are. If the meaning of this statement is that the Jews wanted to conceal the rising of Jesus from the dead, and that they had bribed the soldiers in order that this great miracle should not become generally known, why was it that Jesus, whose duty it was to proclaim this miracle among the Jews, kept it a secret; nay, he forbade even others to disclose it? If it is urged that he was afraid of being caught, I would say, that when the decree of God had descended upon him, and he had, after suffering death, come to life again, assuming a spiritual and a glorious body, what fear did he now have of the Jews -- surely the Jews now had no power over him; he was now beyond and above mortal existence? One observes with regret that while, on the one hand, it is said that he was made to live again and assume a spiritual body, that he met the disciples and went to Galilee and thence went to heaven, he is nevertheless afraid of the Jews for quite trivial things and, in spite of his glorious body, he fled secretly from the country, lest the Jews discover him; he made a journey of seventy miles to Galilee in order to save his life and time and again asked the people not to mention this to others. Are these the signs and ways of a glorious body? No, the truth is that it was not a new and a glorious body -- it was the same body, with wounds on it, which had been saved from death; and, as there was still the fear of the Jews, Jesus, making use of all precautions, left the land. All talk of anything contrary to this is absurd -- as the one about the Jews having bribed the soldiers in order to make them say that the disciples had stolen the corpse while they (the soldiers) were asleep. If the soldiers were asleep they could be very well asked how they came to know in their sleep that the corpse of Jesus had been stolen away. From the mere fact of Jesus not being in the tomb, can anybody in reason believe that he had gone up to heaven? May there not be other causes as a result of which tombs might remain empty. At the time of going up to heaven, it was up to Jesus to meet a few hundred Jews, and also Pilate. Whom was he afraid of in his glorious body. He did not care to furnish his opponents with the slightest proof. On the contrary, he took fright and fled to Galilee. That is why we positively believe that though it is true that he left the tomb, a chamber with an opening, and though it is true that he secretly met the disciples, yet it is not true that he was given any new and glorious body; it was the same body, and the same wounds, and there was the same fear in his heart lest the accursed Jews arrest him again. Just read attentively Matthew, chapter 28, verses 7 to 10. These verses clearly say that the women who were told by someone that Jesus was alive and was going to Galilee, and who were also told quietly that they should inform the disciples, were no doubt pleased to hear this, but they went with a terrified heart, -- they were still afraid lest Jesus might still be caught by some wicked Jew. The ninth verse says, that while these women were on their way to inform the disciples, Jesus met and saluted them. The tenth verse says that Jesus asked them not to be afraid, i.e. of his being caught; he asked them to inform his brethren that they should all go to Galilee22; that they would see him there, i.e., he could not stay there for fear of the enemy. In short, if Jesus had really come to life after his death and had assumed a glorious body, it was up to him to furnish proof of such life to the Jews. But we know that he did not do this. It is absurd, therefore, to accuse the Jews of trying to render negatory the proof of Jesus' coming to life again. No, Jesus himself has not given the slightest proof of his restoration to life; rather, by his secret flight, by the fact of his taking food, and sleep, and exhibiting his wounds, he himself proved that he did not die on the Cross.
Footnotes to Chapter I
Besides these, more Jews were exiled to eastern countries as a result of Babylonian excesses.
Dr. Bernier, Travels, Vol. II (See Appendix).
See the lexicons: Lisan-ul-Arab, Sihah Jauhar, Qamus, Muhit,
Luke 24:42, 43.
I have seen in certain books interpretations of Matthew 16:28 by Maulvies which are more laboured than even the interpretations of Christians; they say that when Jesus declared it to be a sign of his coming that some people of that generation would still be alive and that a disciple would also be alive when the Messiah would appear, it is necessary that that disciple should be living up till now, for the Messiah has not come yet; and they think that that disciple is hiding somewhere on some mountain, awaiting for the Messiah!
Here, Jesus did not console the women with the words that he had risen with a new and a glorious body, that no one now could lay his hands upon him. In short, he gave no proof of the glorious body; rather, he exhibited his flesh and bones and thus proved it to be an ordinary mortal body.
On the evidence of the Holy Quran
and authentic traditions in proof
of Jesus' survival
The arguments which I am now going to set out, might seem to be useless so far as they are meant for Christians, for these people are not bound by what the Holy Quran or the Hadith say on this question; but I state them because I wish Christians to know of a miracle of our Holy Quran and Holy Prophet; to tell them that the truth which has been discovered after hundreds of years has already been proclaimed by our Holy Prophet and Holy Quran. Accordingly, I set down some of it below.
Almighty God says in the Holy Quran: The Jews neither murdered Jesus, not did they kill him on the Cross; no, they only suspected that Jesus had died on the Cross; they did not have proof which could have convinced and satisfied them that Jesus (on whom be peace) had really died on the Cross.
In these verses Almighty God states that although it is true that Jesus was apparently placed on the Cross, and that they were determined to kill him; yet, it is wrong for Jews and Christians to suppose that Jesus did really die on the Cross. No, God created circumstances which saved Jesus from death on the Cross. Now, if one were just, one must say that what the Holy Quran had said against Jews and Christians turned out ultimately to be true. Investigations of a very high standard to-day have proved that Jesus had really been saved from death on the Cross. A study of the records shows that the Jews have never been able to reply to the question: How was it that Jesus died within two or three hours when his bones were not broken?
This has led the Jews to put in another plea -- that they killed Jesus by the sword, whereas the ancient history of the Jews does not show that Jesus was killed by the sword. The majesty and power of the Divine Being made it dark in order that Jesus might be saved. There was an earthquake. Pilate's wife saw a vision. The Sabbath night was about to fall, when it was improper to let a crucified body remain on the Cross. The magistrate, because of the terrible dream, became disposed towards the release of Jesus. All this was brought about simultaneously by God to save Jesus. Jesus himself was made to go into a swoon that he might be taken for dead. Through terrible signs like the earthquake, etc. there were produced in the Jews cowardice, and fear, and also fear of heavenly punishment. There was also the fear lest the corpses should remain on their crosses during the Sabbath night. Again, the Jews, seeing Jesus in a swoon, thought that he was dead. It was dark. And there was an earthquake and great excitement. They also became anxious about their homes -- how must the children be feeling in that darkness and earthquake? There was also a terror in their hearts that if this man was a liar and a Kafir, as they thought he was, why were mighty signs manifested at the moment of his suffering -- signs which had not been manifested before. They were so upset that they no longer were in a position to satisfy themselves whether Jesus had really died, or what exactly his condition was. What had come about, however, was a Divine Design to save Jesus. This is hinted at in the verse... i.e., the Jews did not kill Jesus -- God made them believe that they had killed him. This circumstance encourages the righteous to place great trust in God, that God can save His servants as He pleases.
And the Holy Quran contains also the verse: His name shall be the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, honoured in this world and in the hereafter, and of those who are granted nearness to God. This means that not only here will Jesus have honour and eminence, and enjoy a greatness in the sight of ordinary people; but also in the hereafter. Now, it is evident that Jesus was not honoured in the land of Herod and Pilate. He was, on the contrary, disgraced. The suggestion that he would be honoured during his second coming to this earth is baseless. It is against the divine books and the eternal divine law of nature. There is moreover no proof of it. The truth, however, is that as Jesus, having had his release from those accursed people, came to the land of the Punjab and honoured it with his visit, God gave him great eminence -- here he met the ten lost tribes of Israel. It seems that most of these Israelites had adopted Buddhism and some had degenerated into idolatry of a very low kind. But with the coming here of Jesus, most of them returned to the right path; and as there was an exhortation in the teaching of Jesus to believe in the coming Prophet, the ten tribes who came to be known in this land as Afghans and Kashmiris ultimately all became Muslims. So Jesus came with great honour to this land. There has been discovered recently a coin in this very land of the Punjab, on which is inscribed the name of Jesus (on whom be peace) in Pali characters. This coin belongs to the time of Jesus. This shows that Jesus came to this land and received kingly honour; the coin must have been issued by a king who had become a follower of Jesus. Another coin has been found with the figure of an Israelite. It seems that this too is the figure of Jesus. The Holy Quran also has a verse which says that Jesus was blessed by God wherever he went... So these coins show that he received great honour from God, and that he did not die until he had kingly honour.
Likewise the Holy Quran contains the verse: O Jesus! I shall clear thee of these charges; I shall prove thy innocence and shall remove the accusations brought against thee by Jews and Christians.
A great prophecy this, which means that the Jews alleged that Jesus, having been crucified, became (God forbid) accursed, and thus forfeited the love of God, that Jesus' heart, as the word 'curse' necessitates, turned away from God; that is, he came to hate Him. His heart became enveloped by a thick veil of darkness. It came to love evil and to shun good. It broke away from God and came under the sway of Satan. There was enmity between him and God! The same accusation -- that he was accursed -- was brought by Christians, but Christians, in addition, foolishly combine two contrary and opposite positions; they say Jesus was the Son of God, but they also call him accursed, and what is more, they admit that one who is accursed is the Son of Darkness and the Devil or is the Devil himself. So, these were the dirty charges brought against Jesus; the prophecy contained in the Quran however points out that there was to be a time when God would clear Jesus of these charges. This is that time.
The innocence of Jesus has no doubt become established in the sight of thoughtful persons by the evidence of our Holy Prophet, for he, as well as the Holy Quran, have testified that the charges brought against Jesus (on whom be peace) are all unfounded. But this evidence was a little too subtle and too much in the nature of an argument to carry conviction with ordinary people. Divine justice, therefore, required that just as the crucifixion of Jesus was a visible and well-known event, so should his purity become demonstrated in a manner visible to all and the same has come to pass. The innocence of Jesus is founded not on mere argument but has become demonstrated, in the most palpable way. For hundreds of thousands of people have, with their physical eyes, seen that the tomb of Jesus (on whom be peace) exists in Srinagar, in Kashmir. Just as he was crucified at Golgotha, i.e., at the place of sri, so has his tomb been found at the place of sri i.e., Srinagar. The word sri occurring in the names of both places is very striking indeed. The place where Jesus was crucified was called Gilgit or sri, and the place where in the latter part of the nineteenth century the tomb of Jesus has been discovered is also called Gilgit, or sri. It appears that the place called Gilgit, in Kashmir, suggests the word sri. This town was probably founded in the time of Jesus, and as a local memorial to the event of the Cross it was named Gilgit, i.e., sri; like Lhasa, which means the 'City of one worthy of worship'; this word is of Hebrew origin, and suggests the city founded in the time of Jesus.
Reliable reports in the Hadith show that the Holy Prophet said that Jesus was 125 years of age. Besides, all the sects of Islam believe that Jesus had two unique things about him -- things which are not to be found in any other prophet, namely: (1) he lived to a full old age, i.e., to 125 years; (2) he travelled in many parts of the world and was therefore called the 'travelling prophet'. It is evident that if he had been raised to the skies when he was only 33 years old the report of '125 years' could not have been true, nor could he have travelled so much while he was only thirty-three. Not only are these reports found in the reliable Books of Hadith. They have been so well-known among all the Muslim sects that it is difficult to think of anything which has been more widely known among them.
Kanz-ul-Ummal (Volume 2) which is a comprehensive Book of Hadith, has on page 34 a Hadith from Abu Huraira: God directed Jesus (on whom be peace) '0 Jesus! Move from one place to another' -- go from one country to another lest thou shouldst be recognised and persecuted.
Again, in the same Book, on the report of Jabar, there is the Hadith1 Jesus always used to travel; he went from one country to another, and at nightfall wherever he was he used to eat the vegetation of the jungle and to drink pure water.
Again, in the same book, there is a report from Abdullah bin Umar:2 The Holy Prophet declared that the most favoured in the sight of God are the poor. Asked, what was meant by the poor? Were they the people who, like Jesus the Messiah, fled from their country with their faith?
Footnotes to Chapter 2
Volume 2, page 71.
Volume 6, page 51.
On the evidence derived from
books of medicine
A piece of evidence of great value with regard to the escape of Jesus from the Cross, which no one can help admitting, is a medical preparation known as Marham-i-Isa or the 'Ointment of Jesus' recorded in hundreds of medical books. Some of these books were compiled by Christians, some by Magians or Jews, some by Muslims. Most of them are very old. Investigations show that in the beginning the preparation came to be known as an oral tradition among hundreds of thousands of people. Then they recorded it. At first, in the very time of Jesus, a little after the event of the Cross, a pharmaceutical work was compiled in Latin, in which there was a mention of this preparation along with the statement that the preparation had been prepared for the wounds of Jesus. Next, this work was translated into several languages, until, in the time of Mamun-al-Rashid, it was translated into Arabic. It is, moreover, a strange result of divine intervention that eminent physicians of all religions -- Christian, Jew, Magian, or Muslim -- have all mentioned this preparation in their books, and have stated that it was prepared for Jesus by the disciples. A study of books on pharmacology shows that this preparation is very useful in cases of injuries due to blows or falls, arresting immediately the flow of blood; and as it also contains 'myrrh' the wound remains aseptic. The ointment is also useful in plague; it is good for boils and ulcers of all kinds. It is, however, not clear whether the ointment was prepared, as a result of divine revelation, by Jesus himself after he had undergone the suffering of the Cross, or, that it was prepared after consultation with some physician. Some of its ingredients are like specifics; especially 'myrrh' which is mentioned also in the Torah. In any case, the wounds of Jesus healed up in a few days by the use of this ointment. Within three days he recovered sufficiently to be able to march seventy miles on foot from Jerusalem to Galilee. Hence, regarding the efficacy of this preparation it is enough to say that while Jesus healed others, this preparation healed Jesus! The Books which record this fact number more than one thousand. To mention them all would be too long. As, moreover, the prescription is a famous one among the Yunani (i.e., those versed in ancient Greek medicine) physicians, I do not see any need to state the titles of all these books: I set down below the titles of only a few which are available here.
List of books containing a mention of Marham-i-Isa,
and a statement that the ointment was prepared for
Jesus, i.e., for the wounds on his body
Qanun, by Shaikh-ul-Rais Bu Ali Sina, Vol. III, page 133.
Sharah Qanun, by Allama Qutb-ud-Din Shirazi, Vol. III.
Kamil-us-Sanaat, by Ali Bin-al-Abbas Al-Majoosi, Vol. III, page 602.
Kitab Majmua-i-Baqai, Muhammad Ismail, Mukhatif az Khaqan by Khitab pidar Mohammad Baqa Khan, Vol. II, page 497.
Kitab Tazkara-i-Ul-ul-Albab, by Shaikh Daud-ul-Zareer-ul-Antaki, page 303.
Qarabadin-i-Rumi, compiled about the time of Jesus and translated in the reign of Mamun al-Rashid into Arabic, see Skin Diseases.
Umdat-ul-Muhtaj, by Ahmad Bin Hasan al-Rashidi al-Hakim. In this book, Marham-i-Isa, and other preparations have been noted from a hundred, perhaps more than a hundred books, all these books being in French.
Qarabadin, in Persian, by Hakim Muhammad Akbar Arzani -- Skin Diseases.
Shifa-ul-Asqam, Vol. II, page 230.
Mirat-ush-Shafa, by Hakim Natho Shah -- (manuscript) Skin Diseases.
Zakhira-i-Khawarazm Shahi, Skin Diseases.
Sharah Qanun Gilani, Vol. III.
Sharah Qanun Qarshi, Vol. III.
Qarabadin, by Ulwi Khan, Skin Diseases.
Ilaj-ul-Amraz, by Hakim Muhammad Sharif Khan Sahib, page 893.
Qarabadin, Unani, Skin Diseases.
Tuhfat ul-Momineen, on the margin of Makhzan-ul-Adwiya, page 713.
Muhit Fi-Tibb, page 367.
Aksir-i-Azam, Vol. IV, by Hakim Muhammad Azam Khan Sahib, Al Mukhatab ba Nazim-i-Jahan, page 331.
Qarabadin, by Masumi-ul-Masum bin Karam-ud-Din Al-Shustri Shirazi.
Ijala-i-Nafiah, Muhammad Sharif Dehlavi, page 410.
Tibb-i-Shibri, otherwise known as Lawami Shibriyya, Syed Hussain Shibr Kazimi, page 471.
Makhzan-i-Sulaimani, translation of Aksir Arabi, page 599, by Muhammad Shams-ud-Din Sahib of Bahawalpur.
Shifa-ul-Amraz, translated by Maulana Al-Hakim Muhammad Noor Karim, 282.
Kitab Al-Tibb Dara Shakohi, by Nur-ud-Din-Muhammad Abdul Hakim, Ain-ul-Mulk Al-Shirazi, page 360.
Minhaj-ud-Dukan ba Dastoor-ul-Aayan fi Aamal wa Tarkib al-Nafiah lil-Abdan, by Aflatoon-i-Zamana wa Rais-i-Awana Abdul-Mina Ibn Abi Nasr-ul-Atta Al Israili Al-Harooni (i.e., Jew), page 86.
Zubdat-ul-Tabb, by Syed-ul-Imam Abu Ibrahim Ismail bin Hasan-ul-Husaini Al-Jarjani, page 182.
Tibb-i-Akbar, by Muhammad Akbar Arzani, page 242.
Mizan-ul-Tibb, by Muhammad Akbar Arzani, page 152.
Sadidi, by Rais-ul-Mutakalimin Imamul Mohaqq-i-qin Al-Sadid-ul-Kazrooni, Vol. II, page 283.
Hadi Kabir, by Ibn-i-Zakariya, Skin Diseases.
Qarabadin, by Ibn-i-Talmiz, Skin Diseases.
Qarabadin, by Ibn-i-Abi Sadiq, Skin Diseases.
These books have been mentioned here by way of illustration. Learned people, especially physicians, know that most of these books, in times gone by, were taught at important places of learning under Muslim rule; even scholars from Europe studied them. It is a fact, and there is not the slightest exaggeration about it, that in every century there have been millions of people who have been acquainted with these books; hundreds of thousands of them have been studying them from end to end. I can assert that not a single person from among the learned people of Europe and Asia has been ignorant of the names of at least some of the books in the above list. When Sapin and Qastmonia and Shantrin had universities, Bu Ali Sina's great Qanun, a great medical work in which there is set out the prescription of Marham-i-Isa and other books such as Shifa and Isharat and Basharat pertaining to science, astronomy and philosophy, were eagerly studied and learnt by the Europeans. Likewise, works of Abu Nasr Farabi, Abu Raihan Israil, Thabit bin Qurrah, Hunain bin Ishaq, and Ishaq etc -- all luminaries of learning -- and translations made by them from Greek were also taught. Translations of their works would certainly be found to exist in Europe even today. As Muslim rulers were keen patrons of medicine, they prepared translations of good Greek works. The supreme authority of Khilafat vested for a long time in kings who desired expansion of knowledge rather than the extension of their dominions. That was why they not only had Greek books translated into Arabic but also invited learned Pandits from India, and got them to translate medical and other books, paying them high remuneration. One of the greatest debts that seekers of true knowledge owe to them, therefore, is that they prepared translations of Latin and Greek medical books which contained a mention of the 'Ointment of Jesus', and which, almost as an inscription, recorded the fact that the ointment had been prepared for the wounds of Jesus. When the learned men of Islamic times, such as Thabit bin Qurrah and Hunain bin Ishaq who, apart from medicine, were well-versed in science and philosophy, translated the Qarabadin in which there was a mention of Marham-i-Isa, they wisely retained, in Arabic characters, the word Shailikha, which is a Greek word, in order to perpetuate the suggestion that the book was translated from a Greek pharmaceutical work. That is why in almost every book there occurs the word Shailikha.
It is, moreover, worth noting that though old coins are of great value, clearing as they do great mysteries of history, still, ancient books which at all times have been known to millions of people and which have been taught as text books at great centres of learning and are still serving this purpose, are a thousand times more valuable than coins and inscriptions. For, in the case of coins and inscriptions, there is the possibility of fraud. Learned books which, from the time of their compilation, have been known to millions of people and have been preserved and guarded by all nations and are being guarded even to-day, are such valuable evidence that coins and inscriptions do not bear a comparison with them. Can anyone, if he can, name any coin or inscription which has attained to such general publicity as the Qanun of Bu Ali Sina? In short, the 'Ointment of Jesus' constitutes for the seekers of truth a very important piece of evidence. If this evidence is to be disbelieved, all historical testimony would have to be discarded, for, apart from the fact of the number of such books which contain a mention of Marham-i-Isa, being about one thousand or even more, they and their authors are known to millions of people. One who does not accept this patent and clear and strong proof must be averse to all proof from history. Can he ever ignore such a mighty piece of evidence? Can we doubt this weighty testimony which is spread over Europe and Asia and which is the result of the statements of noted philosophers -- Jews, Christians, Magians and Muslims?
Now let fair-minded investigators attend to it: Let them hasten to this excellent proof and ponder over it. Does such illuminating evidence deserve to be ignored? Shall we not obtain 'Life' from this 'Sun' of Truth? The suggestion that Jesus might have received some injuries before the time of his Call or that they might be injuries received at some time during his ministry, but not as the result of crucifixion; that his hands and feet might have been injured through some other cause; that he might have fallen from a roof, and the ointment might have been prepared for the injury he had received in this fall, is absurd. It is absurd because before the time of his Call, he had no disciples, whereas, along with the mention of the ointment there is also a mention of the disciples. The word Shailikha, which is a Greek word, is still contained in these books. Before the time of his Call, moreover, Jesus was not considered such an important man that events of his life should have been recorded. His ministry lasted only three-and-a-half years, and during this time no accident or injury, except for the event of the Cross, has been reported in records about him. If, however, anyone is under the impression that Jesus received these injuries through some other cause, it is up to him to furnish proof; for the event to which we have referred is proved and admitted in such a way that neither Jews nor Christians deny it, the event, that is, of the Cross. The idea, however, of Jesus being injured through some other cause has not been vouched for by any historical record. To entertain such an idea, therefore, is consciously and knowingly to deviate from the path of truth. The proof that has been adduced is not such that it might be rejected on the basis of such an absurd suggestion.
There are manuscripts in existence even today; I too possess an old copy of the Qanun Bu Ali Sina, handwritten, of that time. Therefore, it would be highly unjust -- it would be to murder truth outright -- to throw away such a transparent proof as this. Think it over again and again -- ponder deeply over it -- these books are still with Jews, Magians, Christians, Arabs, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and with Germans and French, as well as in the ancient libraries of other European countries and of Asia. Is it proper to turn away from a proof like this, the lustre of which dazzles the eye of denial? If these books had been compiled by Muslims only, and if they had been in the hands only of the followers of Islam, there might have been people who would have hastily come to the conclusion that Muslims had forged the statement and recorded it in their books to make it serve as an attack on the Christian creed. But this, apart from the reasons which I shall state shortly, is a baseless suggestion, also on account of the fact that Muslims could never be guilty of a forgery of this kind; for, like Christians, Muslims also believe that after the event of the Cross, Jesus soon ascended into heaven. Muslims, moreover, do not believe that Jesus was put on the Cross at all or that he received any injuries as a result of crucifixion. How then could they knowingly forge a statement contradictory of their own belief? Apart from this, Islam was not in existence in the world when these books on medicine, in Latin and Greek, were compiled and made current among hundreds of millions of people; which books contained the prescription of the 'ointment of Jesus' as well as the explanation that this ointment was prepared by the disciples for Jesus (on whom be peace). And the people, i.e., Jews, Christians, Muslims and Magians were opposed to one another in religion. Therefore, the fact that they have mentioned this ointment in their books, or rather, the fact that they do not have regard even for their respective beliefs, is a clear proof that the preparation of the ointment was such a well-known fact that it was not denied by any community or nation. It is true, however, that until the time of the appearance of the Promised Messiah, it did not occur to any of these people to profit from this prescription which had been stated in hundreds of books and had been known to millions of people of different nations. We have no alternative, therefore, than to acknowledge in this connection that God had willed -- it had been destined by Him -- that this bright weapon and this truth-revealing proof which destroys the belief about the Cross should be explained to the world by the Promised Messiah; for the Holy Prophet had prophesied that the faith of the Cross shall not decline nor shall its progress be arrested until the Promised Messiah appears in the world. It was the Promised Messiah at whose hands was to be brought about the 'Breaking of the Cross'. The hint in the prophecy was that in the time of the Promised Messiah, God would bring about circumstances which would lay bare the truth about the Crucifixion. Then would come the end, and the Creed of the Cross would complete its span of life, not, however, through war or violence, but only through heavenly agencies, which would manifest themselves in the world in the form of argument and discovery. This is the meaning of the Hadith mentioned by Bukhari and others. It was inevitable therefore, that heaven should not have disclosed these proofs and these conclusive pieces of evidence until the time of the appearance of the Promised Messiah. So it has come to pass. From the time of the Promised One onward eyes shall open and thinking people shall ponder over the question. For the Messiah of God has appeared. Intellects must now be sharpened; hearts must be attentive; pens wielded with vigour, and all must gird up their loins, righteous souls would now be given understanding, and every willing person would have reason. For, whatever shines in heaven brightens up the earth also. Blessed and fortunate is he who has a share of this light! As the fruit appears in season, so the light descends at its appointed time; no one can bring it down before it descends of itself, nor stop it when it descends. There must be differences and controversies. At the end, however, truth must prevail, for this is not the work of man; the son of man has no hand in it -- it is from the God who changes the seasons, moves the times, and converts night into day and day into night. He has created darkness but He loves the light. He lets Shirk (polytheistic belief) live in the world, but he loves Tauhid or Oneness of Himself; He does not like His glory to be given away to anybody else. Ever since the birth of man, and until man disappears from the world, the divine law has been that God supports His Tauhid or Oneness. The object of all the prophets sent by Him was to effect the worship of man and other creatures and to establish the worship of God. The service they rendered to the world was to make the formula 'There is no one worthy of worship but Allah' shine in the earth as it shines in heaven. The greatest of them, therefore, is he who did the most in making this formula shine with brilliance; who first exposed the impotence of false gods and proved their nothingness, on the basis of reason and power, and then, when he had proved everything, he left a memory of his decisive victory in the shape of the formula: 'There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah'. He did not utter the formula: 'There is no God but Allah' as an empty boast, rather, he first provided the proofs and exposed the error of the false beliefs and then called upon the people to see that there was no God besides Him, Who had broken all their power and who had shattered all their pride? As a reminder, therefore, of this proved fact, he taught the blessed formula: 'There is no God but Allah; Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah'.
Evidence from books of history
As the following chapter contains evidence of various kinds, it is divided for the sake of clearness of sequence into several sections, which are set out below.
Evidence from Islamic books which contain
a mention of Jesus' journey
a mention of Jesus' journey
In Rauzat-us-Safa, a well-known book of history, on pages 130 - 135, occurs, in the Persian language, an account, which, briefly translated, is as follows.
"Jesus (on whom be peace) was named the Messiah because he was a great traveller. He wore a woollen scarf on his head, and a woollen cloak on his body. He had a stick in his hand; he used to wander from country to country and from city to city. At nightfall he would stay where he was. He ate jungle vegetables, drank jungle water, and went on his travels on foot. His companions, in one of his travels, once bought a horse for him; he rode the horse one day, but as he could not make any provision for the feeding of the horse, he returned it. Journeying from his country, he arrived at Nasibain, which was at a distance of several hundred miles from his home. With him were a few of his disciples who he sent into the city to preach. In the city, however, there were current wrong and unfounded rumours about Jesus (on whom be peace) and his mother. The governor of the city, therefore, arrested the disciples and then summoned Jesus. Jesus miraculously healed some persons and exhibited other miracles. The king of the territory of Nasibain, therefore, with all his armies and his people, became a follower of his. The legend of the 'coming down of food' contained in the Holy Quran belongs to the days of his travels."
This, in brief, is the statement of Rauzat-us-Safa. The author of the book, however, has ascribed many an absurd and irrational miracle to Jesus, which I will not mention here and, keeping my account free from falsehood and absurd exaggerations, I turn to the real point at issue which leads to the conclusion that Jesus (peace be on him) in the course of his travels had arrived at Nasibain. This Nasibain is a place between Mosul and Syria which, in English maps, has been called Nasibus. If one travels from Syria towards Persia, one would pass through Nasibain, which is at a distance of 450 miles from Jerusalem: Mosul is nearly 48 miles from Nasibain and 500 miles from Jerusalem. The frontier of Persia is only at a distance of 100 miles from Mosul. This means that Nasibain is 150 miles from the frontier of Persia. The eastern frontier of Persia touches the town of Herat in Afghanistan, i.e., Herat lies on the western frontier of Afghanistan in the direction of the Persian territory and is about 900 miles from the western boundary of Persia. From Herat up to the Khyber Pass, the distance is about 500 miles. Here follows the map showing the route followed by Jesus.
The map shows the route adopted by Jesus in his journey to Kashmir. The object of his journey was that he should meet the Israelites whom the king, Shalmaneser, had taken captive to Media. It would be noticed that in the maps published by Christians, Media is shown towards the south of the Sea of Khizar (Azov), where, to-day, is Persia. This means that Media was at any rate a part of the land which to-day constitutes Persia. The eastern frontier of Persia is adjacent to Afghanistan; there is the sea towards the south and the Turkish Empire towards the west. If the report in the Rauzat-us-Safa is correct it appears that, by travelling to Nasibain, Jesus intended to come to Afghanistan through Persia, and to invite to the Truth the lost Jews who had come to be known as Afghans. The word 'Afghan' appears to be of Hebrew origin; it is a derivative which means 'brave'. It appears that at the height of their victories they adopted this name for themselves1.
In short, Jesus came to the Punjab after passing through Afghanistan, with the ultimate intention of going to Kashmir after seeing the Punjab and Hindustan. It would be noticed that Chitral and a strip of the Punjab separate Kashmir from Afghanistan. If one travels from Afghanistan to Kashmir, through the Punjab, one has to journey over a distance of 80 miles or about 135 kilometers.
Jesus, however, wisely adopted the route through Afghanistan, so that the lost tribes of Israel, known as Afghans, might profit from him. The eastern frontier of Kashmir touches Tibet. From Kashmir he could easily go to Tibet. Having come to the Punjab, he had no difficulty in wandering through the important places of Hindustan before going to Kashmir or Tibet. It is, therefore, quite possible, as some old historical records of this country show, that Jesus may have seen Nepal, Benares, and other places. He then must have gone to Kashmir through Jammu or Rawalpindi. As he belonged to a cold country, it is certain that he stayed in these territories only through the winter, and, by the end of March or the beginning of April, must have started for Kashmir. As Kashmir resembles Sham [Syria and its surrounding country] he must have taken up permanent residence in this land. It is possible, moreover, that he may have stayed for some time in Afghanistan and it is not impossible that he may have married in that country. One of the tribes of Afghans is known as 'Isa Khel' -- it would not be surprising if they are descendants of Jesus. It is to be regretted, however, that the history of the Afghans is in a confused state; it is, therefore, difficult to arrive at anything definite by studying their tribal accounts. There is no doubt, however, that the Afghans are Israelites, like the Kashmiris. Those who have taken a contrary view in their books have been misled to the extreme; they have not made a minute study of the matter. The Afghans admit that they are the descendants of Qais; and Qais belongs to Israel. It is, however, not necessary to prolong this discussion here. I have already dealt with this question thoroughly in one of my books; here, I am giving an account of the journey of Jesus through Nasibain, Afghanistan, the Punjab and on to Kashmir and Tibet. He was named the 'travelling prophet', nay, the 'leader of travellers', on account of this very long journey. A Muslim savant, i.e., Ibn-al-Walid Al-Fahri Al-Tartooshi Al-Maliki, who was renowned for his learning, states about Jesus, on page 6 of his book Siraj-ul-Maluk, published by the Matba Khairiya of Egypt in 1306 A.H.: 'Where is Isa, the Ruhullah, and, the Kalimatullah, who was the leader of the righteous, and the chief of travellers?' meaning that he was dead, and that, even a great man like him had departed from this world. It should be noticed that this learned authority calls Jesus not merely 'traveller' but the 'chief of travellers'.
Likewise on page 461 of Lisan-ul-Arab it is stated: 'Jesus was named the 'Messiah', because he wandered about, and because he did not stay at one place.' The same is recorded in Tajul-Urus Sharah Qamus. There it is also stated that the Messiah is he who is given goodness and blessings i.e., he is given these qualities in such measure that even his touch is blessed; and that this name was given to Jesus, for God gives this name to whomsoever He pleases. As against this, there is another Messiah, whose touch was evil and accursed, i.e., his nature was composed of a curse and evil, so much so, that his touch gave rise to the darkness of evil and that of a curse. This name was given to the Messiah who is the Dajjal and to all those who are like him. The two names, moreover, i.e., Messiah the Traveller, and Messiah the Blessed, are not antagonistic to each other. One does not invalidate the other. For, it is a divine practice that God names a man in more than one way and that all such names apply to him. In short, Jesus being a traveller has been so well proved by Islamic history that if all the references were copied from those books, they would I think run into a big volume. What I have stated, therefore, should be enough.
Evidence from books on Buddhism
Let it be clear that Buddhist scriptures have made available to us evidence of various kinds, which, on the whole, is enough to prove that Jesus (on whom be peace) must have come to the Punjab and Kashmir, etc. I set out this evidence herein, so that all impartial people may first study it, and then by arranging it as a connected account in their minds, may themselves come to the aforesaid conclusion. Here is the evidence. First: the titles given to the Buddha are similar to the titles given to Jesus. Likewise, the events of the life of Buddha resemble those of the life of Jesus. The reference here, however, is to the Buddhism of places within the boundaries of Tibet, like Leh, Lhasa, Gilgit and Hams, etc., which are the places about which it is proved that they were visited by Jesus. With reference to the similarity of titles, it is enough to point out, that if, for example, Jesus (on whom be peace) calls himself the Light in his teachings, so, Gautama has been named the Buddha, which in Sanskrit means Light.2 If Jesus has been called the Master2 in the gospel, so the Buddha has been called Sasta or the Master; if Jesus has been called Blessed in the Gospels, so the Buddha has been named Sugt, i.e., the Blessed. If Jesus has been called Prince, so has the Buddha been called Prince. Jesus has also been described by the Gospels as one who fulfils the object of his coming, so has the Buddha been called in Buddhistic scriptures Siddhartha i.e., one who fulfils the object of his coming. Jesus has also been called by the Gospels the Refuge of the Tired, so has the Buddha in Buddhistic scriptures been called Asarn Sarm, i.e., the refuge of the refugeless. Jesus has also been called by the Gospels King, though he interpreted it as King of the Kingdom of Heaven, so also the Buddha has been called King. The similarity of events is proved by events such as these. Just as Jesus was tempted by the Devil with the riches and kingdoms of the world provided he prostrated himself to him, so was Buddha tempted when the Devil said to him that he would give him the pomp and splendour of kings if he abandoned the severity of his living and returned home. But, just as Jesus did not obey the Devil, so, it is recorded, the Buddha did not obey him. See Buddhism by T. W. Rhys Davids3; and Buddhism by Sir Monier Monier Williams4.
This shows that the same titles which Jesus ascribes in the gospels to himself, have in Buddhistic books, which were compiled much later, been similarly ascribed to the Buddha; and, just as Jesus was tempted by the Devil, so these books claim that the Buddha also was tempted by the Devil; nay, the account of the temptation of the Buddha as stated in these books, is longer than the account of the temptation of Jesus in the Christian Gospels. It is recorded that when the Devil offered him the temptation of wealth and kingly honour, the Buddha was inclined to return home. He, however, did not obey this desire. But the same Devil met him again one night, bringing with him all his progeny, and frightened him by frightful appearances. To the Buddha these Devils appeared like snakes which were emitting fire from their mouths. The snakes began to throw fire and poison towards him but their poison was turned into flowers and the fire made a halo round the Buddha.
The Devil not having succeeded thus, called sixteen of his daughters, and asked them to reveal their beauty to the Buddha, but the latter was still unmoved. The Devil was balked in his designs. He adopted other means, but was unable to do anything against the steadfast Buddha, who continued to travel through higher and higher stages of spirituality, and after a long night, that is, after severe and protracted trials, he overcame his enemy the Devil; the Light of True Knowledge dawned upon him and, with the coming of the morning, i.e. as soon as his trials were over, he came to know all. The day this great battle ended was the day of the birth of Buddhism. Gautama was 35 years old then; he was called the Buddha or the Light and the Tree under which he was sitting at the time came to be known as the Tree of Light. Now, if you open and see the Bible you will find how the Temptation of the Buddha resembles the Temptation of Jesus, so much so, that the Buddha's age was nearly the same at that time as the age of Jesus. As it appears from Buddhist literature, the Devil did not appear to the Buddha in a corporeal visible form. It was a spectacle seen only by the Buddha; the talk of the Devil was an evil inspiration, i.e. the Devil, as he appeared to him, suggested to the Buddha that he (the Buddha) should abandon his course, that he should follow him (the Devil), that the Devil would give him all the wealth of the world. Likewise, the belief of Christian doctors is that the Devil who appeared to Jesus did not come to him in a corporeal form -- he did not come to Jesus as a human being -- before the very eyes of the Jews, traversing the streets and lanes in his physical body and talking to Jesus so as to be audible to those present. On the contrary, the meeting was of the nature of a vision seen only by Jesus; the talk too was of the nature of inspiration, that is, the Devil, as is his wont, put into his heart evil suggestions. But Jesus did not accept, he rejected the Devil's inspiration.
Now it is worth pondering why there was so much resemblance between the Buddha and Jesus. The Aryas in this connection say that Jesus became acquainted with Buddhism in the course of his journeys in India, and having acquired knowledge of the fact of Buddha's life, made his gospel out of this on return to his native country; that Jesus composed his moral precepts by plagiarizing the moral teaching of the Buddha, that just as the Buddha called himself the Light and Knowledge and adopted other titles, so Jesus ascribed all such titles to himself, so much so, that, even the long story of the Temptation of a Buddha was appropriated by him. This, however, is a fabrication of the Aryas. It is quite untrue that Jesus came to India before the event of the Cross; he had no need to take such a journey at that time; he had need to take such a journey when the Jews of Judaea had rejected him and, as they believed, had crucified him. A fine divine design, however, saved him. Having thus exhausted his sympathy for the Jews and his solicitude to preach to them, and the Jews having become, by reason of their evil nature, so very hard-hearted as to be quite incapable of accepting the Truth, Jesus, on being informed by God that the ten tribes of the Jews had migrated towards India, set out for those regions. As parties of Jews had accepted Buddhism, there was no alternative for this true prophet but to turn his attention to the followers of Buddhism. The Buddhist priests of that country expected the appearance of the 'Messiah' Buddha. Therefore, for Jesus' titles, as well as some of his moral teachings like Love thine enemy; do not resist evil, and, as had been prophesied by Gautama Buddha, Jesus' fair skin, for all these signs, the priests held him to be the Buddha. It is possible also that some of his titles and teachings and the facts of Jesus' life may, consciously or unconsciously, have been ascribed in that age to the Buddha; for the Hindus have never given proof of much aptitude for recording history. The events of Buddha's life had not been recorded till the time of Jesus. Buddhist priests, therefore, had a great opportunity to ascribe to the Buddha anything they wished to ascribe. So it is likely that when they came to know the facts of Jesus' life and his moral teaching, they mixed these with many other things introduced by themselves and ascribed them to the Buddha.5 Presently I shall prove that the moral teaching of the bible -- the titles Light, etc. which, as in the case of Jesus, are to be found recorded in respect of the Buddha as also the story of the Temptation by the Devil -- all this was written in Buddhistic books at the time Jesus came to this country after the crucifixion.
There is, moreover, another resemblance between the Buddha and Jesus: Buddhism records that the Buddha during the Temptation was fasting; that the fast lasted for forty days. Readers of the Gospel know that Jesus also observed a forty days' fast.
As I have just now stated, there is such a striking resemblance between the moral teaching of the Buddha and that of Jesus, that for those acquainted with both it has become something surprising. For example, the Gospels say: do not resist evil, love your enemy, live in poverty, shun pride and falsehood and greed. The same is the teaching of the Buddha6. Nay, the Buddhistic teaching lays greater stress on it, so much so that the killing even of ants and insects has been declared a sin. The outstanding principle of Buddhism is: sympathy for the whole world; seeking the welfare of the whole of humanity and of all the animals; promotion of a spirit of unity and mutual love. The same is the gospel teaching. Again, just as Jesus sent his disciples to different countries -- journeying to one himself -- so was the case with the Buddha. Buddhism by Sir Monier Monier Williams records that the Buddha sent out his disciples to preach, addressing them thus: 'Go forth and wander everywhere, out of compassion for the world and for the welfare of gods and men. Go forth, in different directions. Preach the doctrine (Dharham), salutary (Kalayana) in its beginning, middle and end, in its spirit (artha) and in its letter (vyanjana). Proclaim a life of perfect restraint, chastity and celibacy (Drahmacariyam). I will go also to preach this doctrine' (Mahavagga 1.11.1)7. The Buddha went to Benares and performed many miracles in that territory; he delivered an impressive sermon on a hill just as Jesus had delivered his sermon on the mount. Again, the same book states that the Buddha preached mostly in parables; he explained spiritual matters by means of physical analogies.
Let it be remembered that this moral teaching and this mode of preaching, i.e., talking in parables, was the method of Jesus. This mode of preaching and this moral teaching, combined with other circumstances, at once suggest that this was in imitation of Jesus. Jesus was here in India; he went preaching everywhere; the followers of the Buddhist Faith met him, and finding him a holy person who worked miracles, recorded these things in their books; nay, they declared him to be the Buddha, for it is human nature to try to acquire a good thing for oneself wherever it may be, so much so, that people try to record and remember any clever remark made by any person before them. It is, therefore, quite likely that the followers of the Buddhist Faith may have reproduced the entire picture of the Gospels in their books; as for example, fasting for forty days both by Jesus and the Buddha; the Temptation of both; the birth of both being without father8, the moral teaching of both; both calling themselves the Light, both calling themselves Master and their Companions disciples; just as Matthew, chapter 10 verses 8 and 9, states: 'Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,' so the Buddha gave the same command to his disciples; just as the Gospel encourages celibacy, so does the teaching of the Buddha; just as there was an earthquake when Jesus was put on the Cross, so it is recorded, these was an earthquake at the death of the Buddha. All these points of resemblance arise from the fact of Jesus' visit to India, which was a piece of good luck for the followers of the Buddhist Faith, from his staying among them for a considerable time and from Buddhists acquiring a good knowledge of the facts of his life and of his noble teaching. Consequently, it was inevitable that a great part of that teaching and ceremonial should find its way into Buddhistic records for Jesus was respected and taken for the Buddha by the Buddhists. These people, therefore, recorded his sayings in their books and ascribed them to the Buddha.
It is indeed a wonder that the Buddha, just like Jesus, should have taught his disciples in parables -- especially in those to be found in the Gospels. In one of these parables the Buddha says:
As the peasant sows the seed but cannot say: the grain shall swell today, tomorrow germinate, so also it is with the disciple; he must obey the precepts, practise meditation, study the doctrine; he cannot say today or tomorrow I shall be delivered9.
This, it will be noted, is the same parable which has existed in the gospels to this day. The Buddha, again, narrates another parable:
Again as when a herd of deer lives in a forest a man comes who opens for them a false path, and the deer suffer hurt, and another comes who opens a safe path and the deer thrive; so when men live among pleasures the evil one comes and opens the false eightfold path of right belief... (P. Oldenberg, 191-192).
The Buddha also taught:
Righteousness is a safe Treasure which no one can steal. It is a Treasure which accompanies man even after death; it is a Treasure which is the Source of all Knowledge and all Perfection.9
Now it will be noticed that the gospel teaching is just the same. The ancient Buddhistic records of this teaching belong to the period not remote from the time of Jesus -- nay, it is the same period. Again, on page 135 of the same book there occurs the saying, wherein the Buddha speaks of his irreproachableness in that no one could point to a blot on his character. This too has a resemblance with a saying of Jesus. Buddhism, on page 45, states:
The moral teaching of the Buddha has a striking resemblance with the Christian.
I agree; nay, I acknowledge; both say: Love not the world; nor wealth; do not hate your enemies; do no evil; conquer evil with good; do to others as you wish to be done by -- all this points to such a striking resemblance between the gospel and the teaching of the Buddha that it is unnecessary to mention any more details.
Buddhistic records also show that Gautama Buddha prophesied the advent of a second Buddha who was named Metteyya. This prophecy is contained in Laggawati Sutatta -- a Buddhist record. It is mentioned on page 142 of Oldenberg's book. The prophecy reads10:
He will be the leader of a band of disciples numbering hundreds of thousands, as I am now the leader of bands of disciples, numbering hundreds.
It may be noticed here that the Hebrew words, Masiha, is the same as the Pali, Metteyya. It is a matter of common knowledge that when a word is transferred from one language to another it very often undergoes a change: an English word, too, when imported by another language, undergoes a change: for example, Max Muller, in the course of a list given on page 318 of Volume 11 of Sacred Books of the East, says: the th of the English alphabet becomes... in Persian or Arabic... like S. Keeping these changes in view one can readily understand that the word Messiah became Metteyya in the Pali language, which means that the future Metteyya prophesied by the Buddha is in reality the Messiah -- no one else. This finds support in the fact that the Buddha had prophesied that the Faith he had founded would not endure in the world for more than five hundred years; that at the time of the decline of his principles and teachings, the Metteyya would come to this land and would re-establish them in the world. Now we know that Jesus appeared five hundred years after the Buddha, and that just as the Buddha had fixed the limit of time for the decline of his Faith, Buddhism went into a state of decline at the appointed time. Then did Jesus, after his escape from the Cross, travel to this land; and the Buddhists recognised him and treated him with great reverence. There is no doubt that the moral teaching and spiritual exercises taught by the Buddha were resuscitated by Jesus. Christians admit that the Sermon on the Mount of the Gospels and the other moral teachings are the same as had been preached to the world by the Buddha five hundred years before. They also state that the Buddha did not only teach moral precepts; he also taught other great truths. In their view the title Light of Asia applied to the Buddha is highly appropriate. Now, in accordance with the prophecy of the Buddha, Jesus appeared five hundred years after; and as admitted by most Christian scholars, his teaching was the same as the teaching of the Buddha. There is no doubt, therefore, that he appeared in the 'spirit' of the Buddha. In Oldenberg's book, on the authority of Laggawati Sutatta, is stated that the followers of the Buddha, looking to the future, consoled themselves with the idea that, as disciples of the Metteyya, they would have the bliss of salvation; i.e., they were certain that the Metteyya would come to them and that they would attain salvation through him, for, the words in which the Buddha had held out the hope for the Metteyya implied that his disciples would meet him. The statement of the above-mentioned book reinforces the conviction that for the guidance of those people God had created two sets of circumstances: firstly, that by reason of the title Asaf mentioned in Genesis chapter 3, verse 10, which means 'one who rallies a people', Jesus could not but visit the land where the Jews had come to establish themselves; secondly, that in accordance with the prophecy of the Buddha, it was essential that the followers of the Buddha should see him and should profit from him spiritually. Considering both these points together it becomes almost certain that Jesus must have visited Tibet. The fact that Christian teaching and ritual have deeply affected Tibetan Buddhism necessitates the belief that Jesus must have visited the Tibetan people. Moreover, the fact that the zealous followers of Buddhism, as stated in Buddhistic records, had always expected to meet him, cries aloud that this ardent desire of theirs heralded his visit to this country. In the face of both these facts, an impartial person has no need to search through Buddhistic records for the statement that Jesus did come to Tibet. For, according to the prophecy of the Buddha, the desire for the Buddha's second advent being strong, the prophecy itself must have attracted Jesus to Tibet. It must be noted that the word 'Metteyya' mentioned frequently in Buddhistic books is undoubtedly the word 'Messiah'. In the book, Tibet, Tartary, Mongolia, by H. T. Prinsep, on page 1411, about the Metteyya Buddha which in reality is Messiah, it is stated that the first missionaries (Christian preachers), having heard and seen at first hand conditions obtaining in Tibet, came to the conclusion that in the ancient books of the Lamas there were to be found traces of the Christian religion. Again on the same page it is stated that there is no doubt that these ancient authorities believed that the disciples of Jesus were still alive when the Christian teaching reached this place. On page 171 it is stated that there is no doubt that at that time there was a general belief that there would appear a great Saviour about whose appearance, Tacitus says that it was not only the Jews who were responsible for such belief, but Buddhism itself had laid a foundation for it, i.e., it prophesied the coming of the Metteyya. The author of this English work says in a note: The books Pitakkatayan and Atha Katha contain a clear prophecy about the appearance of another Buddha, which shall take place a thousand years after the time of Gautama or 'Sakhiya Muni'. Gautama states, that he is the 25th Buddha and that the 'Bagawa Metteyya' is still to appear, i.e., after he is gone there would come he whose name would be Metteyya, who would be fair-skinned. The English author goes on to say that the word Metteyya has a striking resemblance to Messiah. In short, Gautama Buddha clearly states in this prophecy that there would arise a Messiah in his country, among his people and his followers. That was the basis of the persistent belief about the coming of a Messiah among his followers. The Buddha, in his prophecy, named his 'Bagwa Metteyya' because 'Bagwa' in Sanskrit means 'white', and Jesus being an inhabitant of the Syrian territory, was fair of skin.
The people of the land of this prophecy, i.e., the people of Magadh, in which was located Bajagriha, were dark. Gautama Buddha himself was dark. He had narrated to his followers two conclusive signs regarding the future Buddha; (1) that he would be 'Bagwa' or of white skin and (2) that he would be 'Metteyya', i.e., traveller, and that he would come from a foreign land. These people, therefore, always looked out for these signs till they actually saw Jesus. Every Buddhist must necessarily profess the belief that five hundred years after the Buddha, the Bagwa (white) Metteyya did appear in their land. It should not be surprising, therefore, if books of the Buddhist faith should mention the coming of the Metteyya, i.e., of the Masiha, to their land, and of the fulfilment of his prophecy. Supposing there were not such mention, even then, because on this basis of divine revelation the Buddha had held out to his disciples the hope that the Bagwa Metteyya would come to their land, no Buddhist who was cognizant of this prophecy could deny the coming to this land of the Bagwa Metteyya, whose other name was Masiha; for the non-fulfilment of the prophecy would prove the falsity of the faith. If the prophecy, for the fulfilment of which a time had been fixed and which Gautama Buddha had narrated to his disciples again and again had not been fulfilled at the ripe time, the followers of the Buddha would have doubted his truth and it would have been stated in books that this prophecy had not been fulfilled. Another argument in support of the fulfilment of this prophecy is, that in Tibet in the seventh century A.D. there were found books which contained the word Messiah, i.e., they mention the name of Jesus (on whom be peace) recorded as Mi-Shi-Hu. The compiler of the list which contained the word Mi-Shi-Hu is a Buddhist. See A record of the Buddhist Religion by I. Tsing, translation by G. Takakusu. This Takakusu is a Japanese who has translated I. Tsing's book, and I. Tsing is a Chinese traveller -- on the margin and in the appendix to whose book Takakusu states that an ancient book contains the name Mi-Shi-Hu (Masih). This book belongs approximately to the seventh century; it was recently translated by a Japanese, G. Takakusu by name, and published by Clarendon Press, Oxford12. The book in any case contains the word Masih which shows with certainty that this word is not imported by the adherents of Buddha's religion from outside; rather, it was taken from the prophecy of the Buddha and was written, sometimes as Masih and sometimes as Bagwa Metteyya.
Among the testimonies we have in Buddhistic record is, that in Buddhism by Sir Monier Williams, on page 45, it is written that the sixth disciple of the Buddha would be a man named 'Yasa'. This latter word appears to be a short form of 'Yasu'. As Jesus, (on whom be peace) appeared five hundred years after the death of the Buddha, i.e. in the sixth century, he was called the sixth disciple. It must be noted that Professor Max Muller in The Nineteenth Century13, on page 517 of the issue of October 1894, supports the aforesaid statement by saying that popular writers have pointed out many a time, that Jesus was influenced by the principles of Buddhism and that attempts are being made even today to discover some historical basis by which the principles of the Buddha's faith should be proved to have reached Palestine in the days of Jesus. This supports the books of the Buddhist faith in which is written that Yasa was the disciple of the Buddha, for, when Christians of such high standing as Professor Max Muller have admitted that the principles of Buddhism had had an influence over Jesus it would not be far wrong to say that this amounted to being a disciple of the Buddha. Nevertheless, I consider the use of such words in respect of Jesus (on whom be peace) disrespectful and impertinent. The statement which is to be found in books of the Buddhist faith that Yasu was the disciple of the Buddha, is only an example of the confirmed habit of the priests of these people to mention a great personage appearing at a later time as if he were the disciple of one appearing earlier. Apart from this, there being, as has been stated, a great resemblance between the teachings of Jesus and of the Buddha it would not be far wrong to speak of the relation of master and disciple between the Buddha and Jesus, although it might not be consistent with feelings of respect. I, however, do not approve of the way European investigators wish to prove that the principles of Buddhism reached Palestine in the days of Jesus. It is, indeed, unfortunate that when the name and mention of Jesus are contained in the ancient books of Buddhism, these investigators should adopt the awkward course of trying to find traces of Buddha's faith in Palestine. Why should they not search for the blessed footprints of Jesus on the rocky soil of Nepal, Tibet, and Kashmir? I know, however, that these investigators could not be expected to discover the truth, which was hidden under a thousand veils of darkness; it was the work rather of God, who saw from heaven that man-worship, over-stepping all limits, had spread over the world and that the worship of the Cross and of the supposed sacrifice of a human being had alienated the hearts of many millions of people from the true God, Whose Jealousy sent to the world a servant of His in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, to break the creed of the Cross. In accordance with the old promise he appeared as the Promised Messiah. Then there came the time for the breaking of the Cross, i.e. the time when the error of the creed of the Cross was to be made plain like the breaking in two of a piece of wood. So now is the time when Heaven has opened the way for the breaking of the Cross, so that a seeker after truth may look around and search for the same. The idea of Jesus ascending into heaven, though it was an error, had nevertheless a significance, namely, that the Messianic Reality had been forgotten and had become obliterated as a corpse is eaten up by the earth of the grave; this Messianic Reality was believed to be in existence in heaven in the corporeal form of a human being. It was inevitable, therefore, that this Reality should descend to the earth in the latter days. It has descended to the earth in this age in the shape of a living human being; it has broken the Cross; and the evils of falsehood and of worship of untruth, which our Holy Prophet in the Hadith about the Cross, has compared to swine, have been cut to pieces along with the breaking of the Cross, just as a swine is cut with the sword. This Hadith does not mean that the Promised Messiah would kill the Kafirs and break crosses: rather, the breaking of the Cross means that in that age the God of Heaven and Earth would bring out the hidden Reality which, all of a sudden, would smash the whole structure of the Cross. The killing of swine does not mean the killing of men nor of swine but the killing of swinish qualities -- like persistence in falsehood and insistence upon presenting the same to others, which is like eating dirt. Just as, therefore, a dead swine cannot eat dirt, so, there would come a time -- nay, it has come already -- when evil natures would be prevented from eating dirt of this kind. The Muslim Ulema have been misled in interpreting this prophecy. The real meaning of the breaking of the Cross and of the killing of swine is that which I have stated. Moreover, in the time of the Promised Messiah, religious wars would be brought to an end; and Heaven would so reflect the resplendent Truth as to bring to one's view the radiant difference between truth and falsehood. Do not think, therefore, that I have come with a sword. Nay, I have come to put all swords back into their sheaths. The world has been fighting a good deal in the dark. Many a man has attacked his true well-wishers, wounded the hearts of sympathetic friends, and injured his dear ones. But now, darkness is no more. Night is gone and now it is day. Blessed is he who remains deprived no longer!
Among the testimonies contained in Buddhist records is the evidence mentioned on page 419 of Buddhism by Oldenberg14. In this book, on the authority of the book named Mahawaga page 54, section 1, it is recorded that a successor to the Buddha would be a man called 'Rahula', described also as a disciple; nay, rather, his son. Now here I am emphatic that the 'Rahula' of Buddhistic records is the corrupt form of 'Ruhullah' which is one of Jesus' titles. The story, that this 'Rahula' was the son of the Buddha who, having abandoned the Child in his infancy, had gone into exile and who, with the intention of parting from his wife for good, had left her asleep without informing her or saying farewell to her, and had run away to some other land, is altogether absurd, senseless and derogatory to the greatness of the Buddha. Such a cruel and hard-hearted man who had no compassion for his poor wife, who left her asleep and, without saying a word of consolation to her, stole away like a thief; who ignored altogether the duties he owed to her as a husband -- neither divorcing her nor asking her permission to go on a journey without end; who gave a hard blow to her heart by disappearing suddenly, who pained her and did not send even a letter to her, till the son grew up to be a man, and who did not take pity on the infant -- such a man who had no respect for the moral teaching he himself inculcated can never be a righteous person. My conscience refuses to accept this, just as it refuses to accept the story in the Gospel that Jesus once showed no regard for his mother, that he did not care for her when she came and called him, but instead uttered words insulting to her.
So although the stories about hurting the feelings of wife and mother have a certain mutual resemblance, yet we cannot ascribe stories, which connote a falling off from the ordinary standards of character to Jesus or to Gautama Buddha. If the Buddha loved not his wife, had he no pity on a poor woman and her suffering child either? This amounts to a serious lack of character; so serious that I have been pained to think of it after the lapse of hundreds of years. One fails to understand why he did all this. To be a bad man, it is enough to be careless towards one's wife -- except that she might be immoral, disobedient or faithless and hostile to her husband. Hence, we cannot ascribe any such offensive behaviour to the Buddha; this being against even his own teachings. These circumstances therefore show that the story is wrong. In point of fact 'Rahula' refers to Jesus, whose other name is 'Ruhullah'. The word 'Ruhullah' in Hebrew becomes similar to 'Rahula', and the 'Rhaula', i.e., 'Ruhullah', has been called the disciple of the Buddha because, as I have already stated, of Jesus coming after him and bringing a teaching similar to the teaching of the Buddha, and because of the followers of the Buddhist faith declaring that the source of that teaching was the Buddha and that Jesus was one of his disciples. It should not be surprising if the Buddha, on the basis of revelation from God, should declare Jesus to be his 'son'. Another piece of circumstantial evidence is that in the same book it is recorded that when 'Rahula' was separated from his mother, a woman who was a follower of the Buddha and whose name was Magdaliyana, acted as a messenger. It would be noticed that the name Magdaliyana is in reality a corrupt form of Magdalene, a woman follower of Jesus mentioned in the Gospels.
All this evidence, which has been briefly set out, leads impartial people to the conclusion that Jesus must needs have come to this country, and, apart from all such clear evidence, no wise man can afford to disregard the similarity, to be found especially in Tibet, between the teaching and the ceremonial of Buddhism and Christianity. Nay, rather, there is such a striking resemblance between them that most Christian thinkers believe that Buddhism is the Christianity of the East, and Christianity the Buddhism of the West15. It is strange indeed that just as Jesus says, 'I am the Light and the Way', the same is said by the Buddha; just as the Gospels call Jesus the Saviour, the Buddha too calls himself the Saviour (see Lalta Wasattara). In the Gospels it is stated that Jesus had no father, and with regard to the Buddha it is stated that in reality he was born without a father16, although apparently, just as Jesus had a father, Joseph, so had the Buddha a father. It is also stated that a star rose at the time of the Buddha's birth; there is also the story of Solomon ordering the cutting of the child in two halves and giving one of these halves to each of two women, which is found in the Buddha's Jataka. This, apart from showing that Jesus has come to this country, also shows that the Jews of that country who had come to this land had developed connections with Buddhism.
The story of Genesis as stated in books of the Buddhist faith has a great resemblance to the same story given in the Torah. Just as according to the Torah man is considered superior to woman, so, in the religion of the Buddha, a monk is considered superior to a nun. It may be observed, however, that the Buddha believed in the transmigration of souls, but his transmigration is not opposed to the teaching of the Gospels. According to the Buddha, transmigration is of three kinds: (1) that the dying man's actions and efforts necessitate the coming into being of another body; (2) the kind of transmigration which the Tibetans believe to be operative among the Lamas, i.e., some part of the spirit of some Buddha or Buddha Satwa transmigrates into the Lama for the time being; which means that his power, temper and spiritual qualities are transferred into such a Lama and that his spirit begins to animate the latter; (3) that in this very life man goes through different creations -- there comes a time when he is, as it were, a bull; when he grows in greed and evil, he becomes a dog, the first existence dying out, giving rise to another corresponding to the quality of his actions; all these changes, however, take place in this very life. This creed is not opposed to the teaching of the gospels.
I have already stated that the Buddha also believes in the existence of the Devil, so he also believes in hell and heaven, in angels and in the Day of Judgment. The charge that the Buddha did not believe in God is a pure fabrication. The Buddha did not believe in Vedanta and in corporeal Gods of the Hindus. He criticises the Vedas a great deal. He does not believe in the existing Vedas. He regards them as corrupt and interpolated. The period during which he was a Hindu and a follower of the Vedas, he regards as the period of evil birth. For example, he hints that for a time he was a monkey; again for a time, an elephant; then a deer, and a dog; four times a snake, and then a sparrow, then a frog; twice a fish, ten times a tiger, four times a fowl, twice a pig, and once a hare, and that at the time he was a hare he used to teach the monkeys, the jackals, the water-dogs; again, he says that he was a ghost; once, a woman, a dancer and the Devil. All these hints are meant to point to phases of life full of cowardice, of womanish behaviour, of impurity and savagery, of profligacy, gluttony, and superstition. It appears that in this way he points to the time when he was a follower of the Vedas, for, after abandoning the latter he gives no hint of any trace of an evil life still persisting in him. On the other hand, he then makes great claims; he said that he had become a manifestation of god and had attained Nirwana. The Buddha also states that the man who goes from the world taking hellish actions with him is thrown into hell, sentinels of hell drag him towards the King of Hell, called Yamah, and the condemned one is then asked whether he had not seen the Five Messengers who had been sent to warn him: Childhood -- Old Age -- Disease -- Being punished for one's guilt in this very life, a proof of the punishment of the hereafter -- Dead bodies which point to the destructibility of the universe. The condemned one replies that he had been a fool, he had not thought over any of these things. The Guardians of hell then drag him to the place of chastisement and fasten him with iron chains red-hot like fire. The Buddha, moreover, says that hell has several regions into which sinners of different categories would be cast. In short, all this teaching cries out loudly that the Buddhist religion is indebted to the personal influence of Jesus.
I do not, however, propose to go on with this discussion. I close this section here, for when there is a clear prophecy, stated in books of the Buddhist faith, about the coming of Jesus to his country -- a prophecy which no one can deny -- when the parables and the moral teaching of the Gospels are to be found in books of the Buddhist faith compiled in Jesus' time -- both these considerations combined do not leave any doubt about the coming of Jesus to this country. The evidence, therefore, for which we had set out to make a search through Buddhistic records has been completely recovered -- thanks to Almighty God.
On the evidence from books of history
which show that the coming of Jesus to
the Punjab and neighbouring territories was inevitable
which show that the coming of Jesus to
the Punjab and neighbouring territories was inevitable
The question naturally arises, why Jesus after his escape from the Cross, came to this country what induced him to take such a long journey? It becomes necessary to answer this question in some detail. I have already said something about it, nevertheless, I think it would be helpful to set out the entire topic in this book.
Let it be noted, therefore, that it was extremely necessary, by reasons of his office as a divine messenger, for Jesus (on whom be peace) to have journeyed towards the Punjab and its neighbourhood, for the ten tribes of Israel, who in the Gospels have been called the Lost Sheep of Israel, had migrated to this country, a fact which is not denied by an historian. It was necessary, therefore, that Jesus (on whom be peace) should have journeyed to this country and, after finding the Lost Sheep, he should have conveyed to them his divine message.
If he had not done so, his purpose would have remained unfulfilled, for his mission was to preach to the Lost Sheep of Israel; his passing away from the world without seeking these lost sheep and, after finding them, teaching them the way to salvation, would have been like the case of a man who had been charged by his king to go to a wild tribe in order to dig a well and supply them with water, but who goes instead to some other place, spends three or four years there and takes no steps to search for the tribe. Does such a man carry out the command of the king? No, not in the least; the man cares not for that tribe: he merely looks to his own comfort.
If, however, it is asked, how and why it should be supposed that the ten tribes of Israel came to this country, the reply is that there is clear evidence to that effect, about which even a person of a poor intellect can have no doubt; for it is well known that people like the Afghans and the original inhabitants of Kashmir are of Israelite origin. For example, the people of the hilly tract of Alai which is two or three days' journey from the district of Hazara, have called themselves Bani Israel from time immemorial; so, also the inhabitants of the Kala Dakah, another hilly tract in this region, take pride in being of Israelite origin. Then there is a tribe in the Hazara district itself which attributes their origin to Israel. Similarly, the people of the hilly region between Chalas and Kabul call themselves Israelites. About the people of Kashmir, the view expressed by Dr. Bernier on the authority of some English scholars, in the second part of his book Travels in the Moghul Empire,17 is well founded: the view, namely, that the Kashmiri people are the descendants of Israel; their dress, their features and some of their customs conclusively point to the fact that they are of Israelite origin. An Englishman, George Forster by name, states in his book18 that during his stay in Kashmir he thought himself to be amidst a tribe of the Jews. In the book called The Races of Afghanistan,19 by H. W. Bellews C.S.I., (Thacker Spink & Co., Calcutta) it is mentioned that the Afghans came from Syria. Nebuchadnezzar took them prisoner and settled them in Persia and Media, from whence at some later time they marched to the East and settled in the Ghaur hills, where they were known as Beni Israel. In proof of this there is the prophecy of the Prophet Idris (Enoch), saying that the ten tribes of Israel who were taken prisoner escaped from bondage and took refuge in the territory called Arsartat which appears to be the name of the part known as Hazara today, part of the region being called Ghaur. In Tabaqat-i-Nasri, in which there is an account of the conquest of Afghanistan by Genghiz Khan, it is stated that in the time of the Shabnisi dynasty there lived a tribe called Bani-Israel, some of whom were good traders. In 622 A.D. near about the time when our Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) announced his call, these people were settled in the territory towards the east of Herat. A Quraish Chief, Khalid bin Walid by name, brought to them the tidings of the Prophet's advent with a view to bringing them under the banner of the Divine Messenger (on whom be peace and blessings of God). Five or six chiefs joined him, of whom Qais was the leading one, whose other name was Kish. After accepting Islam these people fought bravely for Islam and made many conquests, the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and the blessings of God), giving them many presents on their return, blessing them, and prophesying that those people would attain to great ascendancy. The Holy Prophet said that the chiefs of this tribe would always be known as Maliks. Qais, he named Abdul Rashid, and conferred upon him the title 'Pathan'. Afghan writers say that this is a Syriac word which means a rudder. As the newly converted Qais was a guide to his tribe like the rudder of a ship he was awarded the title 'Pathan'.
It is not possible to say at what time the Afghans of Ghaur advanced farther and came to settle in the territory around Kandhar, which is their home today. This happened probably in the first century of the Islamic calendar. The Afghans maintain that Qais married the daughter of Khalid bin Walid, by whom he had three sons whose names were Saraban, Patan, and Gurgasht. Saraban had two sons, called Sacharj Yun, and Karsh Yun, whose descendants are Afghans, i.e. the Bani-Israel. The people of Asia-Minor, and Muslim historians of the West, call Afghans 'Sulaimanis'. In The Cyclopaedia of India, Eastern and Southern Asia,20 by E. Balfour, Vol. 111, it is stated that the Jewish people are spread over the central, southern, and eastern regions of Asia. In early times these people were settled in large numbers in China; they had a temple at Yih Chu, the headquarter of the district of Shu. Dr. Wolf21 who wandered for a long time in search of the Ten Lost Tribes of Bani Israel is of the opinion that if Afghans are the progeny of Jacob they come from the Tribes of Yahuda and Bin Yamin. Another report points out that the Jews were exiled to Tartary; they were found in large numbers in the territories round about Bukhara, Merv and Khiva. Prester John, Emperor of Constantinople, writing about his dominions, says that beyond this river (Amu) there are the ten tribes of Israel who, though they claim to be under their own king, are in reality his subjects and vassals. Dr. Moore's researches22 show that the Tartar tribes named Chosan are of Jewish origin and that among them are to be found traces of the ancient Jewish faith; for example, they observe the custom of circumcision. The Afghans have a tradition that they are the ten lost tribes of Israel. After the sack of Jerusalem the king, Nebuchadnezzar, took them prisoner and settled them in the Ghaur country, near Bamiyar. Before the coming of Khalid Bin Walid they had consistently maintained the Jewish faith.
In appearance the Afghans resemble the Jews in all respects. Like them, the younger brother marries the widow of the elder brother. A French traveller, L. P. Ferrier by name, who passed through Herat, states that in this territory there are many Israelites who have complete liberty in the observance of the customs of their faith. The Rabbi Bin Yamin of Toledo (Spain) in the twelfth century A.D. ventured out in search of the lost tribes. He states that these Jews are settled in China, Iran and Tibet. Josephus,23 who wrote the ancient history of the Jews in 93 A.D. in his eleventh book, in the course of his account of the Jews who escaped from bondage with the Prophet Ezra, states that the ten tribes were settled beyond the Euphrates even at that time, and that their numbers could not be counted. By beyond the Euphrates are meant Persia and the eastern territories. St. Jerome who lived in the fifth century A.D., writing about the Prophet Hosea, concerning this subject, states in the margin that from that day the ten tribes (of the Israelites) have been under king Parthya i.e., Paras, and have not been released from bondage. In the first volume of the same book it is stated that Count Juan Steram writes on page 233-34 of his book that the Afghans admit that Nebuchadnezzar, after the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem, exiled them to the territory of Bamiyan (this lies adjacent to Ghaur, in Afghanistan). In the book, A Narrative of a Visit to Ghazni, Kabul and Afghanistan by G. T. Vigne, F.G.S. (1840), on page 166,24 it is stated that one Mullah Khuda Dad read out from a book called Majma-ul-Ansab that the eldest son of Jacob was Yahuda, whose son was Usrak; Usrak's son was Aknur; Aknur's son was Maalib; Maalib's Ka-Farlai; Farlai's Qais, Qais' Talut; Talut's Armea, and Armea's son was Afghan whose descendants are the Afghan people and after whom the latter are named. Afghan was the contemporary of Nebuchadnezzar; he was called a descendant of Israel, and had forty sons. In the 34th degree, after 2000 years, was born Qais who lived in the time of Muhammad (The Holy Prophet, on whom be peace and blessings of God). His descendants multiplied unto 64 generations. Afghan's eldest son, called Salm, migrated from his home in Syria and settled in Ghaur Mashkoh, near Herat. His descendants spread into Afghanistan,
In the Encyclopaedia of Geography,25 by James Bryce, F.G.S. (London, 1856), on page 11, it is stated that the Afghans trace their genealogy to Saul, the Israelite King, and call themselves the descendants of Israel. Alexander Burns says that the Afghans state that they are of Jewish origin; that the king, Babul, captured them and settled them in the territory of Ghaur which is to the northwest of Kabul; that up to 622 A.D. they continued in their own Jewish faith, but that Khalid bin Abdulla (mistaken for Walid) married the daughter of a chief of this tribe and made them accept Islam in that year.
In the book History of Afghanistan,26 by Col. G. R. Malleson, published in London (1878), on page 39, it is stated that Abdullah Khan of Herat, the French traveller Friar John, and Sir William Jones (who was a great orientalist) agree that the Afghan people are descended from the Beni-Israel; they are the descendants of the Ten Lost Tribes. The book History of the Afghans, by L. P. Ferrier, translated by Capt. W. M. Jasse, and published in London (1858),27 records at page 1 that the majority of oriental historians are of the opinion that the Afghan people are descendants of the Ten Tribes of Israel and that the Afghans' own opinion is the same. The same historian says at page 4 of this book, that Afghans possess evidence that at Peshawar, during his invasion of India, Nadir Shah was presented by the chiefs of the Yusaf-Zai tribe with a Bible written in Hebrew as well as several other articles preserved by their families for the performance of religious ceremonies of their old faith. There were also Jews in Nadir Shah's camp. On seeing the articles they readily recognised them. Again, the same historian states at page 4 of his book that in his opinion Abdullah Khan of Herat's view is reliable. Briefly stated this view is: Malik Talut (Saul) had two sons -- Afghan and Jalut. Afghan was the patriarch of these people. After the rule of David and Solomon there was mutual fighting between the Israel tribes as a result of which each tribe became separated from the rest, and this state of affairs continued up to the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar launched an invasion and killed 70000 Jews. He sacked the city, taking the remaining Jews with him to Babel as prisoners. After this catastrophe the children of Afghan fled in fear from Judaea to Arabia and lived there for a long time. But as water and land were scarce, and man and beast were both hard pressed, they decided to migrate to India. A party of Abdalis remained in Arabia, and during the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakr one of their chiefs established a link by marriage between them and Khalid Bin Walid... When Iran fell to Arabia, these people migrated from Arabia and settled themselves in the Iranian provinces of Faras and Kirman. They stayed there till the invasion of Ghangiz Khan. The Abdalis were helpless against the atrocities of Ghangiz Khan. They came to India, passing through Makran, Sindh and Multan. But they had no peace here. Ultimately they went to Koh Sulaiman and settled there. The other members of the Abdalis tribe also joined them there. They consisted of 24 tribes -- the descendants of Afghan, who had three sons, namely. Saraband (Saraban), Arkash (Gargasht), Karlan (Batan). Each of them had eight sons who multiplied into twenty-four tribes, each tribe being named after the name of each son. Their names with the names of their tribes are given below:
Sons of Saraband
Name of tribe
Gargarsht (Arkash's) sons
Name of tribe
Sons of Karlan
Name of tribe
The book, Makhzan-i-Afghani by Khawaja Nimatullah of Herat, written in 1018 Hijra in the time of King Jahangir, translation published by Prof. Bernhard Doran of Kharqui University (London, 1836), contains in the chapters mentioned below the following statements.
In chapter 1 there is the history of Jacob Israel with whom starts the genealogy of this people (The Afghans).
In chapter 11 there is the history of King Talut, i.e., the genealogy of the Afghans is traced to Talut.
On pages 22 and 23 it is stated: Talut had two sons -- Barkhiya and Armiyah. Barkhiya had a son, Asaf, and Afghan had 24 sons and no one among the Israelites compared with the descendants of Afghan. On page 65 it is stated that Nebuchadnezzar occupied the whole of Sham (Syria), etc., exiled the Israelite tribes and sent them to settle in Ghaur, Ghazni, Kabul, Kandhar and Koh Firoz, where the descendants of Asaf and Afghan particularly took up their abode.
On pages 37 and 38 of this book, on the authority of the author of Majma-ul-Ansab, and of Mastaufi the author of Tarikh Buzidah, it is stated that in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and blessings of God) Khalid bin Walid invited to Islam the Afghans who, after the event of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, had taken up residence in the Ghaur territory. The Afghan chiefs under the leadership of Qais, who was a descendant of Talut in the 37th degree, came to the Holy Prophet (on whom be peace and blessings of God), (Here the genealogy of Abdul Rashid Qais is given up to Talut-Saul). The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of God be upon him) conferred the title of Pathan on the chiefs, the meaning of which is 'ship's rudder'. After some time the chiefs returned to their territory and began to preach Islam.
In the same book Makhzan-i-Afghan on page 63, it is recorded that Farid-ud-Din Ahmad makes the following statement concerning the titles Beni Afghanah or Beni Afghan, in his book Rasalah Ansab-i-Afghaniyah: After Nebuchadnezzar, the Magian had conquered the Israelites and the Sham territories, and when he had sacked Jerusalem, he took the Israelites prisoners and exiled them as slaves. He took away with him several of their tribes who followed the Mosaic Law, and ordered them to forsake their ancestral faith and to worship him instead of God, which they refused to do. Consequently, Nebuchadnezzar put to death two thousand of the most intelligent and the wisest people from among them and ordered the rest that they should remove themselves from his kingdom and from the Sham territory. Some of them left Nebuchadnezzar's territory under a chief and went away to the Ghaur hills. Their descendants settled down in this place, multiplied, and the people began to call them Beni Israel, Beni Asaf and Beni Afghan.
On page 64, the said author states that trustworthy records like Tarikh-i-Afghani, Tarikh-i-Ghauri, etc., contained the assertion that the Afghans are mostly Beni Israel and some of them are of Coptic origin. Moreover, Abul Fazl states that some Afghans regard themselves as of Egyptian origin, the reason stated by them being that when the Beni Israel returned to Egypt from Jerusalem, this tribe (i.e., the Afghans) migrated to India. On page 64 Farid-ud-Din Ahmad says about the title 'Afghan': About the title Afghan, some have recorded that after exile (from Syria) they used always to 'bewail and cry' (faghan) in remembrance of their home. They were therefore named Afghans. Sir John Malcolm is also of the same opinion; see History of Persia, Vol. 1, page 101.
On page 63 is set out Mahabat Khan's statement: 'As they are the followers and relations of Solomon (on whom be peace), they are, therefore, styled Sulaimanis by the Arabs'.
On page 65 it is written that almost all oriental historians' researches show that the Afghan people's own view is that they are of Jewish origin. Some of the historians of today have adopted the same view or, very likely, have regarded it as true.
As to the adoption of Jewish names by Afghans being due to their having accepted Islam, there is nothing to support the translator Bernhard Doran's view. In northern and western Punjab there are tribes, of Hindu origin who have become Muslims but whose names are not after the names of the Jewish people, which clearly shows that by becoming Muslims people do not necessarily adopt Jewish names.
In features, the Afghans have a striking resemblance to the Jews, a fact which is admitted even by those scholars who do not subscribe to the view that the Afghans are of Jewish origin. This may be the only available proof of their Jewish descent. In this connection Sir John Malcolm's words are:
The origin of the Afghan tribes who inhabit the mountainous tract between Khorasan and the Indus is variously traced by different historians. Some assert that they are lineally descended from the Jewish tribes, made prisoners by Nebuchadnezzar, and the principal chiefs are said to trace their families to David and Saul. Although their right to this proud descent is very doubtful, it is evident from their personal appearance and many of their usages that they are a distinct race from the Persians, Tartars and Indians and this alone seem to give some credibility to a statement which is contradicted by many strong facts, and of which no direct proof has been produced.
If similarity of features between one people and another can point to anything, the Kashmiris with their Jewish features would certainly be found to be of Jewish origin. This has been mentioned not only by Bernier but also by Forster, and perhaps other scholars.
Although Forster does not accept Bernier's opinion, he admits that when he was among the Kashmiris he thought he was amidst a Jewish people.
Regarding the word 'Kashmiri', there occur the following words on page 250 of A. K. Johnston's Dictionary of Geography:
On page 250, under the heading CASHMERE:
The natives are of a tall, robust frame of body, with manly features -- the women full-formed and handsome, with aquiline nose and features, resembling the Jewish.
In the Civil & Military Gazette (23 November 1898, page 4), under the heading 'Sawati and Afridi', there is reproduced a very valuable and interesting paper presented to the Anthropological section of the British Association at one of its recent meetings, which will be read at the winter session before the Committee on Anthropological Research. The paper is set out below:
Below we are enabled to give the complete text of the highly valuable and interesting paper contributed to the Anthropological Section at the recent meeting of the British Association, and still to be read before the Anthropological Institute at one of its winter meetings.
The original Paktan or Pathan inhabitants of these western gates of India are recognised in very early history, many of the tribes being mentioned by Herodotus and the historians of Alexander. In mediaeval times the rough uncultivated wilderness of mountains they held was called Roh, and its inhabitants Rohillas, and there can be little doubt that most of these early Rohilla or Pathan tribes were in their places long before the overlying Afghan tribes were thought of. All Afghans whatsoever now counted as Pathans, because they all speak the Pathan language, Pushto, they acknowledge no direct kinship, claiming themselves to be Beni Israel, the descendants of those tribes who were carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. All of them have, however, adopted the Pushto tongue, and all recognise the same Pathan, code of common civil observances called Paktanwali, which is, in many of its provisions, curiously suggestive both of the old Mosaic dispensation and of ancient observances of the Rajput races.
Thus the Pathans, with whom we have lately been so largely concerned, may be divided into two great communities, i.e. tribes and clans such as Waziris, Afridis, Orakzais, etc. who are of Indian origin, and those who are Afghans, who claim to be Semitic and who represent the dominant race throughout our frontier; and it seems at least to be possible that the Paktanwali, which is an unwritten code and which is acknowledged by them all alike, may be of very mixed origin indeed. We may find in it Mosaic ordinances grafted on to Rajput traditions and modified by Moslem custom. The Afghans, who call themselves Duranis and who have done so ever since the foundation of the Durani Empire about a century and a half ago, say that they trace their descent from the Israelitish tribes through an ancestor named Kish, to whom the prophet Mohomet gave the name Pathan (which is Syriac for a rudder), because he was to steer his people into the currents of Islam. We have already noted, however, that the Paktan or Pathan nationality is very much older than Islam. It is difficult to account for the universal prevalence of Israelitish names amongst Afghans without admitting some early connection with the Israelitish nation. Still more difficult is it to account for certain observances, such for instance as the keeping of the Feast of the Passover (which, by the Afghan race, is at least most curiously well imitated) or for the persistence with which the least educated Afghans maintain this tradition, without some original basis of truth for it. Bellew thinks that this Israelitish connection may be a real one; but he points out that one at least of the three great branches of the Afghan family traditionally sprung from Kish, is call the name Sarabaur, which is but the Pushtu form of the ancient name applied to the solar race of Rajputs, colonies of whom are know to have immigrated into Afghanistan after their defeat by the Chandrabans -- the lunar race in the great contest, the Mahabharat, of early Indian records. Thus the Afghan may possibly be an Israelite absorbed into ancient Rajput tribes, and this has always appeared to me to be the most probable solution of the problem of his origin. Anyhow, the modern Afghan takes his stand, on the grounds of tradition, to be one of the chosen race, a descendant of Abraham, and he only recognises affinity with other Pathans through the medium of a common language, and a common code of tribal custom.
All these quotations from the books of well-known writers considered together, will convince a just person that Afghans and Kashmiris, who are to be found in India, on the frontier and in its neighbourhood, are really Beni Israel. In the second part of this book, God willing, I shall prove in more detail that the ultimate object underlying Jesus' long journey to India was that he might discharge the duty of preaching to all the Israelite tribes, a fact to which he has alluded in the gospels. It is not surprising, therefore, that he should have come to India and Kashmir. On the other hand, it would indeed be surprising if, without discharging his duties, he should have ascended into heaven. Here I close the present discussion.
Peace be on those who are guided aright.
MIRZA GHULAM AHMAD
THE PROMISED MESSIAH
Qadian, District Gurdaspur
Footnotes to Chapter 4
1. In the Torah there was a promise to the Jews, that if they believed in the 'last' prophet they would be given after passing through much suffering, kingship and rulership. That promise was fulfilled by the ten tribes of Israel adopting Islam. That is why there have been great kings among Afghans as well as among Kashmiris.
There is a letter in the 14th section of the first chapter of the history in Greek of the 'Creed of Eusebeus', translated by a Londoner, Heinmer by name, in 1650 A.D., which shows that a king, Abgerus by name, invited Jesus from the land beyond the Euphrates, to his court. The letter sent by Abgerus to Jesus, and the reply to it, are full of much falsehood and exaggeration. This much, however, seems to be true, that the king having been apprised of the cruelties of the Jews invited Jesus to his court to give him a refuge. The king probably believed that he was a true prophet.
7. Also see Chinese Buddhism by Edkins; Buddha by Oldenberg, translated by W. Hoey; Life of Buddha, translated by Rickhill.
9. We cannot deny that the Buddhistic Faith, from ancient times, has had considerable moral teaching in it; but at the same time I maintain that that part which is merely the teaching of the gospel -- the parables and other reproductions from the Bible -- was undoubtedly added to the Buddhistic books at the time Jesus was in this country.
11. See Appendix.
15. See Appendix.
21. See Appendix.
23. See pages 169 and 223 Of Tsing's book (See Appendix).
13-27. See Appendix.
T. W. Rhys Davids, M.A. Ph.D. Buddhism (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, 1887).
Buddha's mother is said to be a virgin. Page 183. His mother was the best and purest of the daughters of men.
Note: At the bottom of page 183, Davids quotes St. Jerome.
St. Jerome says (Contra Sovian bk. I): It is handed down as a tradition among the Gymnososophists of India that Buddha, the founder of their system, was brought forth by a virgin from her side.
The Hibbert Lectures - 1831. Indian Buddhism, by T. W. Rhys Davids, 2nd Edition (the Hibbert Lectures, 1831), (Williams & Norgate, London, 1891).
Page 147. All this is of peculiar interest from the comparative point of view. It is an expression from the Buddhist standpoint which excludes the theory of a supreme deity, of an idea very similar to that which is expressed in civilisation writings, when Christ is represented as the Manifestation of God to man, the Logos, the word of God made flesh, the Bread of Life, and it is not a mere chance that heterodox followers of the two religions have afterwards used the Buddha and the Logos conceptions as bases of their emanation theories. It is only a fresh instance of the way in which similar ideas in similarly constituted minds come to be modified in very similar ways. The Chakka-Vatti Buddha was to the early Buddhists what the Messiah Logos was to the early Christians. In both cases the two ideas overlap one another, run into one another, supplement one another. In both cases the two combined cover as nearly the same ground as the different foundations of the two teachings will permit. It is the Chakka-Vatti Buddha circle of ideas in the one case, and the Messiah Logos in the other, that has the principal influence in determining that the opinion of the early Christian biographies of their respective masters was the same, and led to similar results; though the details are in no particular quite identical in the two cases.
Sir M. M. Williams, Buddhism (John Murray, London 1889) page 135.
He said of himself (Mahe-vagga 1.6.8.) I am all subduer (Sabbabhibha) the all wise; I have no stains, through myself I possess knowledge; I have no rival (Patipuggalo); I am the chief Arhat - the highest teacher. I alone am the absolutely wise (Sambuddha); I am the conqueror (Jina); all the fires of desire are quenched (Sitibhuto) in me; I have Nirvana (Nibbuto). Page 126. 'Kill not any living thing. 2. Steal not. 3. Commit not adultery. 4. Lie not. 5. Drink not too strong drink. 6. Eat no food except at stated times. 7. Use no wreaths, ornaments or perfumes. 8. Use no high or broad bed, but only a mat on the ground, 9. Abstain from dancing, singing, music or worldly spectacles. 10. Own no gold or silver of any kind and accept none. (Haha-vagga 1.5.6). This Buddhist Decalogue may be contracted from the Mosaic Decalogue.'
H. T. Prinsep. Tibet, Tartary and Mongolia.
The earliest travels in Tibet proper which have been transmitted to us, are those of Jesuit Fathers, Grueber and Dorville, who returned from China by that route in A.D. 1661, just four hundred years after Marco Polo's journey westward. They were the first Christians of Europe who are known to have penetrated into the populous parts of Tibet, for Marco Polo's journey was, as we have stated, to the north west by the sources of Oxus. Father Grueber was much struck with the extraordinary similitude he found, as well in the doctrine as in the rituals of Buddhists of Lassa to those of his own Romish Faith. He noticed, 1st: that the dress of Lamas corresponded with that handed down to us in ancient paintings, as the dress of the Apostles. 2nd: that the discipline of monasteries and of the different orders of Lamas or priests bore the same resemblance to that of the Romish Church. 3rd: that the notion of an incarnation was common to both, as also the belief in paradise and purgatory. 4th: he remarked that they made suffrages, alms, prayers and sacrifices for the dead, like the Roman Catholics. 5th: that they had convents, filled with monks and friars to the number of 30,000, near Lassa. who all made their vows of poverty, obedience and chastity, like Roman monks, besides other vows. And 6th: they had confessors, licensed by the superior Lamas or bishops; and so empowered to receive confessions and to impose penances, and give absolution. Besides all this, there was found the practice of using holy water, of singing service in alternation, of praying for the dead, and a perfect similarity in the costumes of the great and the superior Lamas to those of different orders of Romish hierarchy. These early missionaries further were led to conclude from what they saw and heard, that the ancient books of the Lamas contained traces of the Christian religion, which must, they thought, have been preached in Tibet in the time of Apostles. (Pages 12-14).
Then concerning the advent of a Saviour, the author H. T. Prinsep writes in the same book (Tibet, Tartary and Mongolia) on page 171:
The general expectation of the birth of a great prophet, Redeemer or Saviour, which is alluded to even by Tacitus, as prevailing at the period when the founder of the Christian religion appeared, was, there can be no doubt, of Buddhist origin, and not all confined to the Jews, or based only on the prophecies of their scriptures.
As a foot note on page 171 the author further wrote:
The advent of another Boodh a thousand years after Gotama or Sakhya Muni, is distinctly prophesied in the Pitakattayan and Atha-Katha. Gotama declares himself to be the twenty-fifth Boodh, and says, 'Bagawa Metteyo is yet to come. The name Metteyo bears an extraordinary resemblance to Messiah.'
Sir. M. Monier Williams, The Mystery of the Ages (1887).
Buddhism is the Christianity of the East and as such even in better conservation than is Christianity, the Buddhism of the West. (Page 541, footnote).
I. Tsing, A Record of The Buddhist Religion practised in India and the Malaya Archipelago, A.D. 671-695. Translated by J. Takakusu, B.A., Ph.D. (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1896).
On pages 223-224: It is indeed curious to find the name of Messiah in a Buddhist work, though the name comes in quite accidentally. The book is called The New catalogue of the Buddhist Books compiled in the Chiang Yuan Period (A.D. 785-804), in the new Japanese edition of the Chinese Buddhist Books (Bodleian Library, Jap, 65 DD, p. 73. This book is not in Nanges' catalogue).
Moreover, the Sanghayama of the Sakya and the monastery of Ta-Chin (Syria) differ much in their customs, and their religious practices are entirely opposed to each other. King-Ching (Adam) ought to hand down the teaching of Messiah (Mi-Shi-ho), and Sakya Putiyiya-Sramanas should propagate the sutras of the Buddha.
The Nineteenth Century, Vol. 3, July-December (London, October 1894). British Museum wo. p.p. 59, 39.
On page 517. In an article by Max Muller under the heading 'The alleged sojourn of Christ in India', and which he criticises Nicolas Notovitch, who went to Tibet and saw there some old record and manuscripts in the Buddhist Himis Monastery, speaking of Jesus Christ having visited Tibet and Kashmir, and who on his return wrote a book in French 'Vie inconnue de Jesus-Christ', Paris 1894. Nicolas Notovitch was by nationality a Russian.
But M. Notovitch, though he did not bring the manuscripts home, at all events saw them, and not pretending to know Tibetan, had the Tibetan text translated by an interpreter and has published seventy pages of it in French in his 'Vie inconnue de Jesus-Christ'. He was evidently prepared for the discovery of a Life of Christ among the Buddhists. Similarities between Christianity and Buddhism have frequently been pointed out of late, and the idea that Christ was influenced by Buddhist doctrines has more than once been put forward by popular writers. The difficulty has hitherto been to discover any real historical channel through which Buddhism could have reached Palestine at the time of Christ. M. Notovitch thinks that the manuscript which he found at Himis explains the matter in the simplest way. There is no doubt, as he says, a gap in the life of Christ, say from his fifteenth to his twenty-ninth year. During that very time the new Life of Christ found in Tibet asserts that Christ was in India, that he studied Sanskrit Pali, that he read the Vedas and Buddhist Canon, and then returned through Persia to Palestine to preach the gospel. If we understand M. Notovitch rightly, this life of Christ was taken down from the mouths of some Jewish merchants who came to India immediately after the Crucifixion (p. 237). It was written down in Pali, the sacred language of Southern Buddhism; the scrolls were afterwards brought from India to Nepal and Makhada (Quaere: Mazadhe) about 200 A.D. (p. 236) and from Nepal to Tibet, and are at present carefully preserved at Lhassa. Tibetan translations of the Pali text are found, he says, in various Buddhist monasteries, and among others, at Himis. It is these Tibetan manuscripts which were translated at Himis for M. Notovitch while he was laid up in the monastery with a broken leg, and it is from these manuscripts that he has taken his new Life of Jesus Christ and published it in French, with an account of his travels. This volume, which has already passed through several editions in French, is soon to be translated into English.
Dr. Hermann Oldenberg. Buddha; His Life, His Doctrine, His Order. Translated from the German by William Hoey, M.A., D. Lit. (Williams & Norgate, 1882).
Page 142. On the occasion of a prophecy of Buddha's regarding Metteyya, the next Buddha, who will in the far future appear upon the earth, it is said:
He will be the leader of a band of disciples numbering hundreds of thousands, as I am now the leader of bands of disciples, numbering hundreds. Cakkana Hisuttanta.
Page 149. Regarding the wife and child of Buddha the chief passage is 'Mahauagga', i 54; Rahula is frequently mentioned in the Sutta texts as Buddha's son, without any prominent role being ascribed to him among the circles of disciples by the ancient tradition.
Page 103. Rahula is the name of Buddha's son. He (Buddha) says Rahula is born to me, a fetter has been forged for me.
At footnote page 103. In the name Rahula there seems to be an allusion to Raha, the Sun and Moon subduing (darkening) the demon.
Francois Bernier Travels in the Moghul Empire. (Constable, London, 1891).
There are however many marks of Judaism to be found in this country. On entering the Kingdom after crossing the Peer-Punchal mountains, the inhabitants in the frontier villages struck me as resembling Jews. Their countenances and manners, and that indescribable peculiarity which enables a traveller to distinguish the inhabitants of different nations, all seemed to belong to that ancient people. You are not to ascribe what I say to mere fancy, the Jewish appearance of these villagers having been remarked by our Father, the Jesuit, and some other Europeans long before I visited Kashmir. (Page 930-932).
George Forster, Letters on a journey from Bengal to England. (Faulder, London, 1808).
On first seeing the Kashmirians in their own country I imagined from their garb, the cast of their countenance which was long and of a grave aspect, and the forms of their beard, that I had come among a nation of Jews. (Vol. II, page 20).
H. W. Bellews, C.S.I., Races of Afghanistan. (Thacker Spink & Co, 1884).
The traditions of the people (Afghans) refer them to Syria as the country of their residence at the time they were carried away into captivity by Bukhtanasar (Nebuchadnezzar) and planted as colonists in different parts of Persia and Media. From these positions they emigrated eastward at some subsequent period into the mountainous country of Ghor, where they were called by the neighbouring peoples 'Bani Afghan' or 'Bani Israel' i.e. children of Afghan and children of Israel. In corroboration of this we have the testimony of the prophet Edras to the effect that the ten tribes of Israel who were carried into captivity, subsequently escaped and found refuge in the country of Arsareth, which is supposed to be identical with the Hazara country of the present day and of which Ghor forms a part. It is also stated in the Tabcati Nasiri that in the time of the native Shan Sabi dynasty there was a people called Bani Israel in that country and that some of them were extensively engaged in trade with the countries around.
Balfour, Edward, Surgeon General, The Cyclopaedia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia, Third Edition. (Bernard Quaritch, 1885).
Under heading 'Afghanistan', page 31. Pakhtun is the national appellation of the Afghans proper; but Afghans and Pathans also designate themselves Bani-Israel. Pakhtun is the individual and Pukhtuna the collective name of the Afghans. This word is described as of Hebrew (Ibrani) origin, though some of them say it has a Syrian (Suriani) source and signifies delivered and set free. The term of Afghan is also said to have the same signification. One tradition is that the mother of Afghan or Afghana on his being born exclaimed 'Afghan', I am free and gave him this name; another tradition is that in the pangs of labour she exclaimed Afghan, Afghan, or Fighan, Fighan, words which in Persian mean, woe, grief, alas! Afghan is claimed as the designation only of the descendants of Kais.
The term of Pathan is said to be from Pihtan, a titular appellation alleged to have been bestowed by Mohammed on an Afghan called Kais.
Their origin is involved in obscurity, but several writers consider them to be descendants of one of the ten tribes of Israel and this is an opinion of some Afghans themselves. A few authors consider that this nation is not of Jewish origin, but that those who introduced the Mohamedan religion amongst them were converted Jews.
Then on p. 34 on the authority of Elphinstone's work 'Kingdom of Caubul' (pp. 182-185) it is written:
Among the Yusufzai, no man sees his wife till the marriage ceremonies are completed, and with all the Bardurani there is great reserve between the time when the parties are betrothed and the marriage. Some of them live with their future father-in-law and earn their bread by their services, as Jacob did when he wanted to marry Rachel, without ever seeing the object of their wishes.
Among the Afghans, as among the Jews, it is thought incumbent on the brother of the deceased to marry his widow, and it is a mortal affront to the brother for any other person to marry his widow, and it is a mortal affront to the brother for any other person to marry her without his consent.
Narrative of a Mission to Bokhara in the years 1843-1845, in two volumes. Rev. Joseph Wolff, D.D. LL.D. (John W. Parker, London, 1845) Vol. I 2nd Edition.
Page 9. From various conversations with Afghans in Khorassaun and elsewhere I learnt that some of them are proud of an origin from the children of Israel, but I doubt the truth of that partial tradition.
Page 13. All the Jews of Turkistan assert that the Turkomanians are the descendants of Togarmah, one of the sons of Gomar, mentioned in Genesis 10:3.
Page 14. The Jews in Bokhara are 10,000 in number. The Chief Rabbi assured me that Bokhara is the Habor, and Balkh the Halah of the 2nd Kings 18:6 but that in the reign of Ghengis Khan they lost all their written accounts. At Balkh the Musselman Mullahs assured me that it was built by a son of Adam, that its first name had been Hanakh and afterwards Halah, though later writers called Balakh, or Balkh. The Jews, both of Balkh and Samarcand, assert that Turkistan is the Land of Nod, and Balkh where Nod once stood.
Page 15. The tradition is an old one at Bokhara, that some of the Ten Tribes are in China. I tried the Jews here on various points of scriptural interpretation, particularly that important one in Isaiah 7:14 - virgin. They translated it as we Christians do and they are in total ignorance of the important controversy between Jews and Christians on this point.
Page 16. I obtained a passport from the King after this most interesting sojourn and then crossed the Oxus and arrived after a few days at Balkh and from that city, where I also communed with the dispersed of Israel, I proceeded to Muzaur.
Some Afghans claim a descent from Israel. According to them, Afghana was the nephew of Asaph, the son of Berachia, who built the temple of Solomon. The descendants of this Afghan, being Jews, were carried into Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, from whence they were removed to the mountain of Ghoree in Afghanistan, but in the time of Muhammad turned Mohammedans. They exhibit a book Majmooa Alansab, or collection of genealogies, written in Persian.
Page 17. Hence I passed to Peshawar. Here I had also the singular book read to me of the origin of the Afghans, the Poshtoo Book of Khan Iehaun Loote. The account in this book agrees with that given in the MSS, Teemur Nameh and Ketaub Ansbee Muhakkek Toose. I thought the general physiognomy not Jewish, but I was wonderfully struck with the resemblance that the Youssufszeye and the Khalibaree, two of the tribes, bear to the Jews. The Kaffreseeah Poosh, if Afghans, vary widely from the rest of their nation. Many travellers have thought them the descendants from Alexander's army, but they do not say so.
Page 18. I always thought that the Kaffr Seeah Poosh were descendants of Israel and some of the learned Jews of Samarcand are of my opinion.
Pages 19-20. Captain Riley, I was surprised to find, looked on the Afghans as of Jewish descent.
Page 58. I spent six days with the children of Rachab (Bani Arbal). With them were children of Israel of the tribe of Dan, who reside near Terim in Hatramawl, who expect, in common with the children of Rachab, the speedy arrival of the Messiah in the clouds of heaven. Vol. II. 131.
It is very remarkable that the Prophet Ezekiel in the twenty-seventh chapter, fourteenth verse, gives an exact description of the trade carried on by the Turkomanians with the inhabitants of Bokhara, Khiva and Khokand. The Prophet says, They of the house of Togarmah (i.e. the Turkomanians) traded in their fairs with horses and horsemen and mules. The Turkomanians to this day, like the Jewish guards, are mercenaries and let themselves out for a few tengas a day. It is also remarkable that I frequently heard the Turkomanians call themselves Toghramah, and the Jews call them Togarmah.
Viewing the hosts of camels coming with merchandise from Cashmeer, Cabul, Khokand, Keetay and Orenbough, the passage of Isaiah 9:6 the multitude and camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah, all they from Sheba shall come and they shall bring gold and incense. Mentioning gold, I must not forget that near Samarcand there are gold mines and turquoises.
Page 236. A few words on the children in the mountains of Kurdistaun. These children, as the late lamented Dr. Grant well observed, are of Jewish origin, though I cannot go so far as to affirm that they are of the Ten Tribes, since they do not know their own genealogy. They are now mostly Christian.
They resemble mostly the Protestants of Germany and England, for they have neither images nor monasteries and their priests are married. The episcopal dignity, however, is hereditary, as well as that of the Patriarch, and at the time the mother of the Patriarch becomes pregnant she abstains from drinking wine and eating meat; and in case that a son is born, he is the Patriarch, and if a daughter, she is obliged to observe eternal virginity.
The Lost Tribes by George Moore, M.D.
On page 143. We are attracted at once to a country of vast importance in the present aspect of the East, and the more interesting to us, as we find there a people who profess to be the Beni Israel or descendants of the Ten Tribes, namely Afghanistan and the adjacent countries.
On page 145. the prominent reasons for thinking that certain classes of the people of Bokhara and Afghanistan are of Israelitish origin are these: 1st. Their personal resemblance to the Hebrew family. Thus, Dr. Wolff, the Jewish missionary says 'I was wonderfully struck with the resemblance of the Youssoufszye (tribe of Joseph) and the Khybere, two of their tribes, to the Jews.' Moorcroft also says of Khyberis 'They are tall, and of singularly Jewish cast of features.' 2nd. They have been named by themselves Beni-Israel, children of Israel from time immemorial. 3rd. The names of their tribes are Israelitish, especially that of Joseph, which includes Ephraim and Manasseh. In the Book of Revelation the tribe of Joseph stands for Ephraim (Rev. 7:6-8). In Numbers 36:5 Moses speaks of Manasseh as the tribe of the sons of Joseph, so that it is clear that both Manasseh and Ephraim were known by the name of the tribe of Joseph. 4th. The Hebrew names of places and persons in Afghanistan are of far greater frequency than can be accounted for through Mohometan associations; and, indeed, these names existed before the Afghans became Mohometans. 5th. All accounts agree that they inhabited the mountains of Ghore from a very remote antiquity. It is certain that the Princes of Ghore belonged to the Afghan tribe of Sooree and that their dynasty was allowed to be of very great antiquity even in the eleventh century. They seem early to have possessed the mountains of Soliman or Soloman comprehending all in the Southern mountains of Afghanistan (Elphinstone). 6th. Afghan is the name given to their nation by others, the name they gave their nation is Pushtoon, and Drs. Garey and Marshman assert that the Pushtoon language has more Hebrew roots than any other.
Page 147. The antiquity of the name of the country Cabul, or Cabool is then established; and it is also shown that some peculiar people known as 'The Tribes', 'The Noble Tribes' dwelt there at a very remote period. There is, therefore, good evidence that the present inhabitants of Cabul may be justified in asserting that from the earliest period of history they and their ancestors have occupied Cabul, and that from time immemorial they have been known as The Tribes. That is to say, Israelitish Tribes, such as they now assume themselves to be ... According to Sir W. Jones the West-Persian authorities agree with them in their account of their origin; and resident and competent authorities, such as Sir John Malcolm and the missionary Mr. Chamberlain, after full investigation, assure us that many of the Afghans are undoubtedly of the seed of Abraham.
Josephus Flavius, Antiquities, Translated by Jewish W. M. Whitson (Hurst, Rees, Orme & Brown: London).
What: Do you stretch your hopes beyond the river Euphrates? Do any one of you think that your fellow tribes will come to your aid out of Adiabene? Besides, if they would, the Parthians would not permit them. (XI, V. 2).
This is a quotation from a Jesih King (Agrippa) to the Jewish to submit to the Romans and not to look to the Jews from beyond the river Euphrates.
Josephus was in the reign of Vespasian, in the latter part of the first Christian century.
A personal narrative of a visit to Chuzin, Cabul, in Afghanistan G. T. Vigne F.R.G.S. (London: Whittaker, 1840).
Pages 166-67. Moolah Khuda Dad, a person learned in the history of his countrymen, read to me, from the Mujmaul-unsal (Collection of Genealogies), the following short account of their origin. They say that the eldest of Jacob's sons was Judha, whose eldest son was Osruk, who was the father of Okour, the father of Moslib, the father of Farlai, the father of Kys, the father of Talut, the father of Ermiah, the father of Afghans, whence the name of Afghans. He was contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar, called himself Beni-Israel and had forty sons, whose names there is no occasion to insert. His thirty-fourth descendant in a direct line, after a period of two thousand years, was Kys. From Kys, who lived in the time of the Prophet Mohammed, there have been sixty generations. Sulum, the eldest son of Afghans, who lived at Sam (Damascus) left that place and came to Ghura Mishkon a country near Herat, and his descendants gradually extended themselves over the country now called Afghanistan.
Cyclopaedia of Geography by James Bryce, M.A., LL.D., F.R.S.E. and Keith Johnson F.R.G.S., 2nd Edition (William Collins, Sons & Co, London & Glasgow, 1880).
Under heading 'Afghanistan', page 25. History and Relations ... The name Afghan is not used by the people themselves; they call themselves Pooshtoon, and in the plural Pooshtauneh, from which, perhaps, comes the name Puten, given to them in India. They trace their origin to Saul, King of Israel, calling themselves Ben-i-Israel. According to Sir A. Burnes, their tradition is that they were transplanted by the King of Babylon from the Holy Land to Ghore, lying to the N.W. of Cabul, and lived as Jews till A.D. 682, when they were converted to Mohometanism by an Arab Chief Khaled-ibn-Abdalla, who had married a daughter of an Afghan chief. No historical evidence has ever been adduced in support of this origin, and it is perhaps a mere invention, founded upon the facts mentioned in 2 Kings XVIII-II. However this may be, all travellers agree that the people differ strikingly from the neighbouring nations and have among themselves one common origin. They are said, by some, to resemble Jews very much in form and features, and they are divided into several tribes, inhabiting separate territories and remaining almost unmixed.
History of Afghanistan by Colonel G. Malleson, C.S.I. (W.H. Alien, & Co, London, at the India Office, 1878).
Page 39. I turn now to the people of Afghanistan, to the tribes who occupy the country, and who command the passes. The subject has been treated at great length by Mountstuart Elphinstone, by Ferrier - who quote largely from Abdullah Khan of Herat, by Bellews and many others.
Following Abdullah Khan and other Afghan writers, Ferrier is disposed to believe that the Afghans represent the lost ten tribes and to claim them descent from Saul, King of Israel. Among other writers concurring in this view may be mentioned the honoured name of Sir William Jones. On the other hand Professor Dorn, of Kharkov, who examined the subject at length, rejects this theory. Mountstuart Elphinstone classes it in the same category as the theory of the descent of the Romans from the Trojans. The objections to Abdullah Khans' view have been recently expressed, fittingly and forcibly by Professor Dowson, in a letter to the Times. If, writes that gentleman, it were worthy of consideration, it is still inconsistent with the notion that the Afghans are descendants of the lost ten tribes. Saul was of the tribe of Benjamin, and that tribe was not one of the lost ten. There remains the question of features. This no doubt has its weight, but cannot prevail against the more important question of language. Professor Dowson then proceeds to show that the Afghan language has no trace of Hebrew in it, and concluded by pronouncing the supposition that in the course of time the whole Afghan race could have changed their language as 'Too incredible'.
L. P. Ferrier, History of the Afghans Translated by W. M. Jesse. (John Murray, London, 1858).
Page 4. When Nadir Shah, marching to the conquest of India, arrived at Peshawar, the chief of the tribe of Yoozoof Zyes presented him with a Bible written in Hebrew and several other articles that had been used in their ancient worship and which they had preserved. These articles were at once recognized by the Jews who followed the camp.
On page 1, in footnotes, he writes: The author of a manuscript history of the Afghans observes that some derive the name Afghan from its Persian meaning 'Lamentation' because these tribes bewailed their banishment from Judaea. Others say that Afghan was the grandson of Saul and was employed by Solomon in building the temple. This author refers to two histories of this nation: The Tarikh-Afghanah, and the Tarikh Ghour, i.e. the History of the Afghans and the History of Ghour. It appears, he says, from these works, that the Afghans consider themselves as partly descended from the Copts of Egypt and partly from the Israelites; but nothing is adduced to support this assertion.
We are told by one of these writers that Nebuchadnezzar, after putting to death many of the prisoners, banished the remnant in to the mountains of Ghour, where they multiplied greatly with the Jews from Arabia; and when those changed their religion for that of Mohammed, a letter was received from a converted Jew called Khalud, informing them of the appearance of a New Prophet and invoking them to join his holy standard. Several Afghan nobles went to Arabia; the principal was Keis, who, we are informed by Afghan authors, traced his descent through forty-seven generations to Saul and through fifty-five to Abraham (History of the Afghans, Persian MSS).
Almost all Mohamedan writers claim this descent for the Afghans and I possessed for some time a genealogical table in which an attempt was made to prove all the principal families of Afghanistan direct descendants of the Kings of Israel.