Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
As far as we are aware, he was the first person who developed, in his Urdu book, Masih Hindustein Mein (translated into English as Jesus in India) a unified and coherent theory regarding a possible post-crucifixion life of Jesus Christ. The reader should know that Ghulam Ahmad’s entire book is on the Internet. Ghulam Ahmad’s work is always cited as original source material in books that deal with this issue (see Kersten, Kaiser, Hassnain, Nazir Ahmad, etc.)
Though people like Karl Bahrdt, Karl Venturi, and Heinrich Paulus had, prior to Ahmad, advanced the theory that Jesus Christ may have survived the crucifixion, Ghulam Ahmad might be called the “father” of this theory.
Ahmad offered theories pertaining to the events surrounding the crucifixion, as well as Jesus’ post-crucifixion life. He even included a map that showed Jesus’ possible route from the Holy Land to Kashmir. He did a massive amount of research, even discovering mention of the very ointment, Marham- i-Isa (mentioned in at least 32 ancient books of medicine that he lists, including the famous Qanun, by Shaikh-ul-Rais Bu Ali Sina), which, as is claimed in those works, was used to heal Jesus’ wounds
This is an English version of an Urdu treatise written by the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, Hadrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908). The theme is the escape of Jesus from death on the cross, and his journey to India in search of the lost tribes of Israel. Christian as well as Muslim scriptures, and old medical and historical books including ancient Buddhist records, provide evidence about this journey. Jesus is shown to have reached Afghanistan, and to have met the Jews who had settled there after deliverance from the bondage of Nebuchadnezzar. From Afghanistan Jesus went on to Kashmir, where other Israelite tribes had settled. There he made his home, and there in time he died; his tomb has been found in Srinagar.
Electronic version available here
Ghulam Ahmad was born in the year 1835 in a small town called Qadian, in India.
In 1884 he published a massive work entitled, Baraheen Ahmadiyya [Urdu] in which he presented what he considered to be 300 proofs of the superiority of Islam over all other religions.
Then in the year 1890, Ghulam Ahmad shocked not only his Christian and Hindu enemies, but his Muslim brethren as well. For he made the awesome claim that God had appointed him the Masih (Messiah) and the long- awaited Imam Mahdi whom Muhammad had predicted would bring about the final rule of Islam
One of Ghulam Ahmad’s followers, Khalifa Nur Din [or, Noor al-Din] of Jalalpur Jattan, District Gujrat, a loyal follower of Ghulam Ahmad’s, spoke to him about a tomb in Srinagar that was said to be the tomb of a prophet named Yuz Asaf. Ghulam Ahmad instructed him to do some further research into the matter. Nur Din went to Srinagar and stayed there for about four months. He collected information and also obtained the signatures of 556 inhabitants who attested to the fact that, according to their traditions, the remains of Jesus Christ lied in the Roza Bal. He also brought back a sketch of the Roza Bal.
Then Ghulam Ahmad decided to send one of his followers, Maulvi Abdullah, to Kashmir to investigate this tomb. Maulvi Abdullah arrived in Kashmir, conducted his investigations, and wrote back to Ghulam Ahmad about his findings. Ghulam Ahmad then published a poster that contained Maulvi Abdullah’s letter, as well as Maulvi Abdullah’s sketch of the Roza Bal.
Click here to download a translation of the letter + Ahmad’s poster
Any such tomb would have drawn the interest of any devout Muslim. Ghulam Ahmad began studying the local traditions of the people of Kashmir, both oral and written, and discovered that these traditions, as we saw in the above letter from Maulvi Abdullah, quite matter-of-factly referred to the Roza Bal as the tomb of “Nabi Isa” (Prophet Jesus). Apparently, the Muslim in the streets didn’t believe Jesus to be in heaven, as was taught by the orthodox clergy. In fact, the Ahmadiyya publication, Review of Religions, recorded this belief in its October, 1909 edition.
Review of Religion
“The most remarkable thing about the tomb is that it is known not only as the tomb of Nabi Sahib, but also as that of Isa Sahib. Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad, son of the Promised Messiah [referring to Ghulam Ahmad], paid a visit to the tomb in July last; and when he asked an old woman, the last survivor of a long line of the hereditary attendants of the tomb, whose tomb it was, she replied: ‘It is the tomb of Isa Sahib.’ Being asked why she called it the tomb of Isa Sahib, while the Maulvis [Islamic clergy] believed Isa to be in the heavens, she said, ‘Let them believe what they will. The name [Isa] is the one which we have been hearing from our forefathers.’”
In this account its clear that prior to the authorship and publication of Ghulam Ahmad’s book, Jesus In India, there had been no fuss over this tomb of “Isa Sahib.” The name Isa is the word used in the the Quran, for Jesus, and also in Buddhist works. It appears this being the ‘Tomb of Jesus’ was not seen as something surpriing and significant to those living near the tomb.
There existed no anti-Christian organization or anti-Christian movement that, for instance, was attempting to strike at Christianity “in the name of Islam.” No one in the area had been making any attempt to announce this to the world. The fact that “Isa Sahib” lay in the Roza Bal was nothing extraordinary to the people, other than the fact that he was considered a prophet.