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The Heavenly Sign (Nishan e Asmani)

Nishan-i-Aasmani (the second title being the testimony of those who are the recipients of Revelation from God), published in 1892, contains the witnesses of the godly persons in favour of the claim of Hazrat Ahmad (as) to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi. One of these divine persons was Ghulab Shah. Hadhrat Ahmad (as) says that Ghulab Shah had died some thirty years ago. Mian Karim Bakhsh was the one who was told by Ghulab Shah about the appearance of the Mahdi. Though mention had been made of it in Izalai Auham, this book contains more details.

The other prophecy was made by Nimatullah who was a greatly revered godly person and the prophecy made by him is contained in a poem which he composed in the Persian language. His prophecy makes mention of the name of the Promised Messiah as Ahmad and also points to the fact that the Promised Messiah (as) would get an illustrious son – it draws the attention of the reader very conspicuously to the Hadith of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to the effect that the Promised Messiah would be married and get a son. Hadhrat Ahmad (as) quotes all the couplets of the poem composed by Nimatullah and gives a comprehensive explanation of all of them.

After quoting this prophecy, Hadhrat Ahmad (as), refers to the Hadith of the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to the effect that God would raise a Mujaddid (one who revives) for the Muslims to revive their religion at the head of every century and he remarks that it is mentioned in the books of Hadith that when the Promised Messiah appears, the Ulema will oppose him tooth and nail and dub him a kafir. Next, Hadhrat Ahmad (as) gives the statement of Karim Bakhsh Jamalpuri who says that he is doing so out of sympathy for his Muslim brothers.

In this statement, Karim Bakhsh says that Ghulab Shah said it three times that the name of the Promised Messiah was Ghulam Ahmad and that the Messiah who was the son of Mary had died and he was therefore not coming back. Ghulab Shah also told him that (Hadhrat) Ghulam Ahmad (as) was to come in Qadian, i.e. he was to be born there.

After the statement of Karim Bakhsh, Hadhrat Ahmad (as) takes up the criticism levied by Maulvi Mohammad Hussain of Batala against his book entitled Aasmani Faisla . He explains his claim and tells his reader that the Batalvi and his master – Sayed Nazir Hussain – are trying to mislead the people by accusing him of things which he has never uttered. He says the reason why they are doing so is that their hearts have been hardened. He repeats his demand that they should show heavenly signs as he was claiming to show.

He calls upon the generality of the people, especially those who are seekers after truth and who realise that God will question them – that they should not follow the Maulvis of this age without making a thorough research.

The Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has also warned the people against the Maulvis of the latter days. He appeals to them that clearing their minds of all the preconceived ideas they should pray to God – he specifies a method of prayer by saying that two Rakaat prayers should be offered, reciting Sura Yasin in the first Rakaat and Sura Ikhlas (twenty-one times) in the second Rakaat and Allahumma salli, three hundred times and Istighfar three hundred times. They should pray to God that He may let them know the truth of his claim.

He closes the book with an announcement that he would like to make an arrangement for the preaching of Islam in the Indian sub-continent. Before this announcement Hadhrat Ahmad (as) appeals to those who are in a position to help the religion. He says that he is very grateful to his friends who are doing all they can to help the cause of religion but things have taken a new turn and more help is needed. This new turn, Ahmad (as) says, is that even those who call themselves Muslims have started a wave of opposition, so much so that they do not let the people read his books. He expresses confidence in the fact that if the Jamaat does not become slack in its efforts, all these hurdles will soon be removed.

Hadhrat Ahmad (as) says that it has now become incumbent upon him to spare no efforts to reform the people within and without. He further says that such being the case he has decided that he will not put down his pen till all the hurdles have been removed. The blessings of God that are being showered on him like a heavy rain make him believe that he will be successful and God will not let his efforts go to waste. Then he talks of some of the books that he intends to write after the present volume.