Refutation: What’s the deal with Spiritual Pregnancy?

By Anser Zafar

 ‘The soul of Jesus was infused in me as it was infused in Mary and, in an allegoric sense, I was stated to be pregnant. Thereafter, after many months, not exceeding a period of ten months after this revelation, I was, through a revelation recorded at the end of Braheen e Ahmadiyya on page 556, named Jesus and hence I came to be the son of Mary.’(Kashti Nuh, p. 47; Ruhani Khazain, vol. 19, p. 50)

 The above passage of Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) has been subject to a great deal of ridicule by his adversaries. It is usually put forward that the concept of spiritual pregnancy/rebirth is unheard of in Islam and therefore is “evidence” that Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) was not worthy of being considered the Promised Messiah, Na’oodhu billah.

This reply will focus on the concept of ‘Spiritual Rebirth’ and whether or not it is something totally new to Islam. If there is such a concept in Islamic thought which accepts that such a phenomenon could occur, then the entire premise of this foul criticism leveled against Hadhrat Imam Mahdi (as) is evidence of the ignorance of Islamic religious knowledge of those who make this allegation.

So is this an alien concept to Islam? No. Numerous Sufiyya wa al ‘Auliyya have written extensively on this subject. Hadhrat Shahab ad Din Suhawardi (rh) has written in his ‘Awarif al Mu’arif (vol. i, p. 45):

‘The disciple becomes a part of the master, just as a child is a part of its father in its physical birth. Thus, is the disciple born from its master in its spiritual birth.’

 This concept is so beautifully evident in the cases of these ‘Auliyya, as prior to their high spiritual rank they subjected themselves to rigorous discipleship to their masters – to become a part of them and be born of them in their second birth. In that event, one would assume that (to name but a few) Khawaja Mu’in ud Din Chishti (rh) must have become a part of Hadhrat Khawaja Usman Haruni (rh); Hadhrat Nizam ud Din Aulia (rh) of Hadhrat Baba Farid ud Din Shakar Ganj (rh); Hadhrat Jalal ud Din Rumi (rh) of Hadhrat Shams Tabriz(rh); Maulvi Abdullah Ghaznavi of Hadhrat Said Ameer (rh) of Koth – and having initially become a part of their masters they must have been born from within them.

Hadhrat Jalal ad Din Rumi (rh), a noble sage of his time and disciple and student of Hadhrat Shams Tabriz (rh), who was also the founder of the Jalali school of Sufism, has discussed the concept of spiritual pregnancy at some length and stated:

‘God confines free spirits into bodies and makes each body pregnant by the spirit. Each of us is a Messiah for the world.’ (Miftah al Ulum, Daftar No. i, Pt. i, p. 55)

 Then he (rh) writes:

‘The Whole forms a relation with the part and from this, just as a woman receives a sperm from man, the sense of man receives a pearl. The soul of the man then becomes pregnant as did Mary and from this pregnancy is born a Messiah. This Messiah is not the Messiah who lived in the past, but is a Messiah whose glory is not easy to comprehend. When the spirit of God makes pregnant the spirit of man, that spirit then makes the world pregnant. This produces a spiritual revolution and resurrection in the world which is so grand as to defy description.’ (Miftah al Ulum vol. 1, p. 11)

 What judgement would the opponents pronounce against Hadhrat Jalal ud Din Rumi (rh) for having acknowledged the feasibility of a man receiving a pearl from the Whole, i.e., God Almighty? Just as a woman receives a sperm from a man, the man becomes pregnant with the spirit of God as did Hadhrat Mary (as) and the Messiah being born of this pregnancy. Would the opponents state that Hadhrat Jalal ud Din Rumi’s (rh) idea is ridiculous as they state in relation to Hadhrat Ahmad’s (as) statement suggesting

the same idea? Would these petty opponents, who have absolutely no appreciation of the beauty of this spiritual concept, state that the whole building of the Jalaali school of thought in sufism is founded on a ridiculous idea, as they do in relation to Ahmadiyya Muslim thought on account of a similar statement? Would they therefore denounce Hadhrat Jalal ud Din Rumi (rh) as a mad man for having previously subscribed to the same beliefs as Hadhrat Ahmad’s (as), as they have the impertinence to denounce Hadhrat Ahmad (as)? Would they also consider it proper to call Hadhrat Jalal ud Din Rumi (rh) “Outrageous” since the founder of the Jalaali school of Sufism subscribed to this concept of a man being made spiritually pregnant by the spirit of God and thereafter being reborn from within himself?

There are some among the Jews who pervert words from their proper places. And they say, ‘We hear and we disobey,’ and ‘hear thou without being heard,’ and ‘Ra‘ina,’ screening with their tongues what is in their minds and seeking to injure the Faith. And if they had said, ‘We hear and we obey,’ and ‘hear thou,’ and ‘Unzurna,’ it would have been better for them and more upright. But Allah has cursed them for their disbelief; so they believe but little.”’ (4:47)

Now, when one refers to Hadhrat Imam Mahdi (as) statement in Kashti Nuh which has been subjected to such ridicule, one finds that the phenomenon which is beautifully described by Hadhrat Shahab ad Din Suhawardi (rh) and Hadhrat Jalal ad Din Rumi (rh) is exactly the same which he [Hadhrat Imam Mahdi (as)]declared to have experienced. He (as) stated:

 ‘The soul of Jesus was infused in me as it was infused in Mary and, in an allegoric sense, I was stated to be pregnant. Thereafter, after many months, not exceeding a period of ten months after this revelation, I was, through a revelation recorded at the end of Braheen e Ahmadiyya on page 556, named Jesus and hence I came to be the son of Mary.’(Kashti Nuh, p. 47; Ruhani Khazain, vol. 19, p. 50)

We can see what the Saints of Islam and Friends of Allah have said regarding this type of pregnancy and rebirth, and we can see what the Imam Mahdi (as) has said describing his own experience. Will the opponents now tell us whether the World has truly never seen someone to have made such a claim?

‘No one shall enter the kingdom of heaven who has not been born twice.’

(Hadhrat Ahmad Sirhindi, Mujadid alf Thani (rh) – Maktubat)

  

For a more in depth discussion, refer to: http://www.alislam.org/books/3in1/chap3/index.html

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3 thoughts on “Refutation: What’s the deal with Spiritual Pregnancy?

  1. Pingback: The Way of a Seeker | What’s the deal with Spiritual Pregnancy?

  2. I really loved the content of your post, and the fact that you put Hadrat Ghulam Ahmad (as)’s words in the rich context of sufi thought.

    However, I would like to draw attention to one important point. I do this because I wish to perfect our conveyance of the message, and perfection can only be attained by self-examination.

    The important point is that (very unfortunately) there has been a recent historical trend to interpret Islam in a rigid and monolithic manner, and for many muslims today… the quotations from Rumi and other similar characters are completely unacceptable. They would indeed pronounce judgment against his statements and ridicule them. Unfortunately the Saudi government’s financial resources have spread this rigid interpretation throughout the madrassas of Pakistan and India, which previously were very appreciative of sufi islam but now have closed their hearts.

    It’s important to emphasise this point, particularly for our youth who often are passionate to propagate ahmadiyyat, but in their innocence then quote a shia scholar when conveying the message to a sunni muslim, for instance. We should be aware that many of our quotations from historical scholars are not acceptable to certain muslim denominations. For myself, I prefer to use arguments on their intrinsic merit. For instance, I will try always to explain the statements of Hadrat Ghulam Ahmad (as) on their intrinsic merit (as you have done mashallah), rather than say “another scholar said the same thing, so that means it’s okay”. But of course we may also quote other scholars, always bearing in mind that, for instance, many many muslims today unfortunately think that Ibn Arabi, Rumi and Shams Tabrisi were deviants from Islam. In particular, the muslims who vehemently oppose ahmadiyyat are exactly the same muslims who definitely would also oppose Rumi, so I don’t think quoting Rumi would be a successful argument in their eyes.

    Wassalam,
    Moosa

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