Ban on Death Prophecies

First Legal Ban by Douglas

In 1897, Dr. Martyn Clark brought a case against Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, accusing of him of trying to assassinate him (this was after the Lekhram assassination). This event is referred to in this advertisement from 1897 (Advertisements, Vol 2, p. 468):

Media Report

A newspaper of the time, the Nazim-ul-Hind (Lahore), of the 4th September 1897, remarks that the dismissal of the case recently instituted against Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Kadian [sic] is regarded in the light of a great miracle by his followers. They say that the appearance of the Mirza in a court of justice was equivalent to his being crucified, and his acquittal has served to confirm their belief (in his divine mission.) As a matter of fact, the judgment delivered by the District Magistrate of Gurdaspur declares him to be a dangerous man. The Editor observes that, as the Almighty desired that the Mirza should be exposed in his true colours during the current year, several incidents have occurred which go to show that the man is a liar and a calumniator. In the first place, he evaded holding a controversy with the Sheikh of Tehran, and in the next he fell in public estimation by publishing a stupid note in reply to a letter of the Turkish Consul which appeared in the Nazim ul Hind. The recent case has also served to bring him into disrepute, while the libel case which has been instituted against the Nazim will disgrace him completely in the eyes of the public. The reason why the Mirza has fallen in public estimation is that he signed an agreement (ikrar namah) to the effect that he would not publish any succh notices (writing) in future. The public argue that if the Mirza had been commissioned by God, he would have refused to sign such an agreement. Government should not, however, give up all idea of putting an end to the mischievous doings of the Mirza. They should keep a careful watch over his secret conspiracies, and remember that he is dangerous to the Government and the peace of the country.

Criminal Case in 1899 in the court of Dowie

  • Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was charged on 5 January 1899 under Section 107 of Indian Penal Code
  • He was prosecuted by the Crown and the decision was rendered on 25 February 1899
  • Mirza was represented by Khwaja Kamaluddin
  • Maulvi Batalvi was a government witness and not a party to the case. It was the attacks on him that were the focus of the case
  • The 'agreement' was a declaration by Mirza counter-signed by Batalvi as he was the victim
  • No proceedings were brought against Batalvi and Mirza was 'discharged' by the court after he signed the declaration
  • Batalvi repeatedly said he did not want to confront Mirza as he had already defeated him. It was Mirza who instigated the events that led to the case

This is the reference from Mirza's advertisement in December 1899 (Ishtiharat, Vol 3, pp 214-5

Here is the translation, followed by the images from the original decision

  1. I will desist from prophesying about any Muslim, Hindu or Christian that he would be humiliated or the target of Divine wrath.
  2. I will refrain from praying or requesting God to show any sign by which the humiliation or being target of Divine wrath will show who is truthful or lying -- in any religious debate.
  3. I will refrain from publishing any presumed 'ilhaam' that any specific person will be humiliated or the target of Divine wrath.
  4. I will refrain from libel and slander against Abu Saeed Muhammad Hussain Batalvi or his associates or followers. Or publish any word or picture that injures them. And I declare that I will not use for him, or for any of his associates or followers words like 'dajjal', 'kafir', liar, or 'Batalvi' (with a small 't', meaning liar). I will not publish anything about his private life or family life that can reasonably hurt him.
  5. I will refrain from inviting ... for Mubahila to find out who is truth ful before God and who is lying. Nor will I invite them to prophecy about anyone else.
  6. As far as I am able to, I will encourage all people over whom I have influence or control that they should also comply with the above clauses.