In 1888, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the imposter of Qadian, asked one of his relatives, Mirza Ahmad Beg, for the hand of his young daughter: Muhammadi Begum. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad made it clear that he had been commissioned by God for this and God had promised him that this marriage would definitely take place.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad wrote the following in a leaflet distributed on 10 July 1888,
‘The Omnipotent and Omniscient God has asked me that I should seek the hand of the elder daughter of this man (Ahmad Beg); should tell him that good conduct and courtesy to be shown to him would depend on this, i.e., his acceptance of the marriage proposal, her marriage with me would be a source of blessing and a sign of mercy for her father; and that he would have his share in all those blessings and mercies which have been laid down in the leaflet dated February 20, 1886. But if he declines to marry her, then the girl would meet an extremely tragic end. The other person to whom she would be married would die within two and a half years after the day of the wedding, and so would the father of the girl die within three years, and her household would be afflicted with discord and poverty and adversity, and during the intervening period the girl would encounter several unpleasant and grievous events.’ [Qadiyanism: A Critical Study by Ml Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi]
This prophecy, which was eventually a heartbreaking one for Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, and an ugly blot on the Qadiani name to this day, would have been of little significance to the non-partisan scholar.
Millions of people strive for the hands of the women they like. Some people succeed in their endeavors, whilst others do not. However, this particular prophecy is very important to us because Mirza Ghulam Ahmad made this prophecy – proclaimed with great fanfare – to be the criterion of judging the veracity of his claim to prophethood. He said,
‘This should be clear to the people that there can be no better criterion of testing our truth or falsehood than our prophecy.’
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was a misfiring gun of prophecies. His writings contain many unfulfilled prophecies. However, this particular prophecy, of his marriage to Muhammadi Begum, was unique. He declared this prophecy to be a heavenly sign. Not only did he declare this prophecy as the criterion of his own truth and falsehood, but he also stated it to be a victory or defeat of Islam!
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad continued repeating this prophecy and he was so confident about its fulfilment that he became more forceful in proclaiming it. He said,
‘Wait for (the fulfilment of) the prophecy mentioned in the announcement of 10 July 1888, along with which the following inspiration is added, ‘And they ask thee if this is true. Say: Yes, by my Lord, it is true and cannot prevent it from taking place. We have Ourselves wed thee to her. There is none to change My words. And on seeing the sign they will turn their faces aside and will say: This is a thorough deception, and a thorough magic.’
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad addressed the scholars of India and stressed that his prophecy will come to pass. He also campaigned upon them that this prophecy was a revelation from God.
Mirza Ahmad Beg, turned the proposal down and decided to give his daughter in marriage to another relative of his, Mirza Sultan Muhammad.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had laid out the trap for his own capture by making a big hue and cry about his ‘impending’ marriage. News of the upcoming wedding was spread in the newspapers and Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs were all enthusiastically following the developments on the ‘marriage made in heaven’ story. The girl’s family categorically DENIED the proposal of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad turned to plan B, plan C, and plan D – in vain. He wrote letters to the relatives of Muhammadi Begum, implored them, and promised divine reward for acceptance. He also issued threats and prophesized divine calamity and punishment upon them for not accepting his mumbo-jumbo.
He told the girl’s family that thousands of people in Lahore were fervently praying in the Mosques after the congregational prayers for the fulfillment of his prophecy…wait a minute…if it was divinely decreed, what was the need to pray for its fulfillment?
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad started running out of ideas when his own daughter-in-law and the aunt of the girl he so much desired both opposed the proposal of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. His face turned from red to maroon in anger and issued threats to his daughter-in-law (Izzat Bibi), in his endeavor to make her an influencer upon the girl he wanted!
Another son of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – Sultan Ahmad – was also opposed to the ludicrous claims of his father. Mirza Ghulam lost his mind completely and disowned this son, disinherited him, and divorced his mother.
Even after the marriage of Muhammadi Begum to Mirza Sultan Muhammad on 7 April 1892, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad kept on harping that ultimately the girl would become his wife!
The couple (Muhammadi Begum and Mirza Sultan Muhammad) lived happily and never saw any of the mumbo-jumbo calamities and punishments prophesized by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The time period of the calamity elapsed, so Mirza Ghulam Ahmad extended the lease of the life of Mirza Sultan Muhammad!
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Qadiani imposter, continued insisting that his prophecy was true and said,
‘If I am a liar, this prophecy will not be fulfilled and my death will come.’
Mirza Sultan Muhammad lived a long life. He participated in the first world war. He was injured but survived and outlived Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the imposter of Qadian.
As for the Qadianis, we leave them to cook up more interpretations and explanations of this failed prophecy on behalf of their chief imposter, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.