The first and the second volumes of Brahin-i-Ahmadiyya were published in 1880 CE, the third volume in 1882 and the fourth volume in 1884. The fifth volume took, under the divine scheme, a long time to be published. It saw the light of the day after 1905.
When the book started to be written and published, the British Government was well established in the sub-continent of India and in its wake the Christian religion was getting itself entrenched with great force and speed. The statistics show that whereas there were 91,000 Christians in India in 1851 CE, there were no less than 470,000 in 1881 CE. The increase in number was simply unprecedented.
The onslaught of the Christian missionaries was mostly directed towards the Muslims. Followers of some other religions, like Hinduism, also did not lag behind in attacking Islam. Arya Samaj was particularly opposed to all that was connected with Islam and the Muslims.
It was in these circumstances that Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) who later on claimed to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, took up his pen to prove the truth of Islam and the excellence of the Holy Qur’an. As for the reason why he wrote his book Brahin-i-Ahmadiyya, he says:
Let it be clear to all the seekers after truth that the reason why this book entitled Brahin-i-Ahmadiyya ala haqiqati kitabilla hil Qur ‘an wannubuwwatil Mohammadiyya (the proofs of the truth of the Book of Allah – the Holy Qur’an, and the Prophethood of Muhammad (sa)) has been compiled is that the proofs of the truth of Islam and the proofs of the excellence of the Holy Qur’an and the proofs of the truth of the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (sa), the Khatamun-Nabiyyeen, may God’s choicest blessings be upon him, are made known to the people with the greatest clarity and all those who do not believe in the sacred book and chosen prophet, are silenced with perfect intellectual proofs in a way that they cannot open their mouths any more.
Hadhrat Ahmad (as) offered a prize of 10,000 rupees to anyone who could refute these proofs and give even one-fifth of these proofs in favour of his own religion, scripture and Prophet. He was so anxious to make things clear to the people that he got this challenge (with prize) printed in such bold letters that a page of almost 10″ length had only seven lines on it and it was spread over pages 24 to 52.
When the Christians and the Hindus saw the first volume, they became furious and talked most irrelevantly but none of them succeeded in taking up the challenge sincerely. Hadhrat Ahmad (as) then explained to his readers that he never had any intention to injure the feelings of the people. What he actually wanted to do and what he was doing was to prove intellectually that Islam was a better religion than every other religion. He said the days had passed when stories were considered to be sufficient to prove that a religion was a living and practical religion.
Hadhrat Ahmad (as) has made mention of the following six points about this book:
- It contains all the truths based on the principles of the knowledge of religion; all the truths that put together can be called Islam.
- It contains 300 proofs — strong, conclusive and convincing of the truth of Islam.
- It contains answers to the allegations, accusations, objections and whimsical views of the opponents of Islam like Jews, Christians, Magians, Aryas, Brahmins, idol worshippers, atheists, naturalists and non-religious people.
- It contains a discussion on the basic religious beliefs of the followers of other religions.
- It contains the explanation of the secrets of the word of God. The wisdom of the Holy Qur’an becomes manifest throughout.
- All the discussions have been penned with great coolness and fineness and in perfect accordance with the rules of discussion; everything has been said in a lucid manner and understanding has been made easy.
The third volume starts with a mention of the poor condition of the Muslims and Hadhrat Ahmad (as) has shown great concern for them. It contains the external and internal proofs of the truth and excellence of the Holy Qur’an. This topic has been discussed at length and quite a number of details have been mentioned in the marginal notes.
The fourth volume begins with the list of the topics discussed in the book. It makes mention of the proofs of the need of the Word of God (revelation) and asserts that the perfect faith and God realisation which is all important for salvation can be achieved through the revelation of God. It also mentions the excellent and unique interpretation of the Sura Fatiha and also some other verses of the Holy Qur’an; the teachings of Vedas are devoid of the idea of the Oneness of God; Pundit Dayanand silenced and the prophecy about his death of which many people were informed beforehand came to pass; the comparison of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and the New Testament; prophecies which many people were told beforehand; the miracles of Jesus Christ (as), and what is the real salvation and how it can be obtained.
At the close of the fourth volume, Hadhrat Ahmad (as) added a note which is entitled ‘We and our Book’. In it he says that when he started writing this book things were different from what they are now. He remarked that a sudden manifestation of God the like of which was shown to Moses (as) had been received by him and he had heard the voice of God Who said:
‘Verily I am your Lord’, and thereafter such secrets of spiritual heights were made known to him as could never be gotten through the medium of wit and intelligence. He further said that he now had no control over this book and it was God alone Who knew how it would proceed.
The fifth volume of Brahin-i-Ahmadiyya was published no less than 23 years after the publication of the fourth volume.
This volume starts with a description of the true and living religion and stresses the point that a true and living religion must have the miraculous manifestation of the words and deeds of the Almighty God. Any religion that is not true and is not living will certainly be devoid of these manifestations.
Hadhrat Ahmad (as) then continues to explain what a miracle really is and why it is essential that the miracles must take place. He adds that the living miracle and not merely the stories of the old are the sure sign of a living religion.
In the second chapter of the volume, Hadhrat Ahmad (as) makes mention of the fulfilment of what had been outlined in the first four volumes, almost 25 years back. During this period a large number of prophecies had come to pass and hundreds of his revelations had been mentioned to the people with the result that all those people were witnesses to those revelations. He also shows to his readers the succour that he had received from God on all the occasions. All these things, he says, are a proof of the truth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, on whom be peace and blessings of Allah and also they, quite clearly, show that he (Hadhrat Ahmad (as)) was true in all the claims that he had made in respect of his having been commissioned by God.
There is a lengthy supplement attached to the book (Volume V). In this supplement, Hadhrat Ahmad has answered the objections raised by the people, especially by Mr. Muhammad Ikramullah of Shahjahanpur, Maulvi Abu Saeed Mohammad Hussain, Sayed Muhammad Abdul Wahid of Bengal and Rashid Ahmad Gangohi.
He has also dealt with the death of Jesus Christ (as), basing his arguments on a number of verses of the Holy Qur’an.
After the supplement, Hadhrat Ahmad (as) wanted to write an epilogue. The short notes for this epilogue have been added to the book. These notes show that he wanted to explain what Islam really is, how excellent and perfect is the teaching of the Holy Qur’an, the fulfilment of the promises God had made to him as mentioned in the first four volumes of the book and, also, he wanted to explain what those revelations meant in which he had been called Jesus.
As for his claim, he says (and with that ends the fifth volume of Brahin-i-Ahmadiyya):
I deem it necessary to say this much about my claim that I have been sent by God at the most appropriate time. This is the time when most of the people have become similar to the Jews. They have not only abandoned the fear of God (Taqwa) and purity of heart, they have become, like the Jews of the days of Jesus, the enemies of the truth. That is why, as a matter of contrast with them, God has given me the name of Messiah. It is not that just I call the people to myself, it is this Age that has called me (i.e. my advent is the need of the hour).