Book Review – JESUS IN INDIA
Posted on June 17th, 2009

Jesus in India is an English version of Masih Hindustan mein, an Urdu treatise written by the Holy Founder of the Ahmadiyya Jama’at in Islam, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835 – 1908).

 The main thesis expounded in the treatise is Jesus’ escape from an ignominious death on the Cross and his subsequent journey to India in quest of the lost tribes of Israel whom he had to gather into his fold as mentioned in the New Testament.

Abundant evidence has been furnished from Christian as well as Muslim Scriptures, old medical books and books of history, including ancient Buddhistic records, to illustrate the theme.

Starting upon his journey from Jerusalem and passing from thence through Nasibus and Iran, Jesus is shown to have reached Afghanistan, where he met the Jews who had settled there after their deliverance from the bondage of Nebuchadnezzar.

From Afghanistan Jesus went to Kashmir, where some Israelite tribes had also settled. He made this place his home and here he died. His tomb has been traced and found in Khanyar Street, Srinagar.

In the section dealing with the evidence adduced from ancient Buddhistic records, Hazrat Ahmad has resolved a question which, owing to its difficult nature, has for a long time confounded many a Western writer.

These writers have been baffled by the striking resemblance that exists between Christian and Buddhistic teachings and between the life events of both Jesus and Buddha as revealed in their respective Scriptures.

Some of these writers hold the view that Buddhistic teachings must somehow have reached Palestine and been assimilated by Jesus in his own sermons. But there is absolutely no historical proof to support this theory.

A Russian traveller named Nicolas Notovitch stayed for quite some time with Lamas in Tibet and had their sacred books translated for him. He is of the opinion that Jesus must have come to Tibet before the crucifixion and gone back to Palestine after having imbibed Buddhistic teachings. This also is a mere statement unsupported by reliable historical evidence.

Repudiating both these views, Hazrat Ahmad writes that Jesus came to India not before the event of the Cross but after it and that it was not he who borrowed Buddhistic teachings but the followers of Buddha who seem to have reproduced the entire picture of the Gospels in their books.

According to Hazrat Ahmad Jesus also visited Tibet during his travels in India in search of the lost tribes of Israel. He preached his messages to Buddhistic monks, some of whom were converted Jews. The followers of Buddha were deeply impressed by his teachings and took him to be the manifestation of Buddha and their Promised Teacher. With faith in him as their Master, they mixed his teachings with their own records and ascribed it all to the Buddha. Ample evidence in support of this is furnished from ancient Buddhistic records.

Masih Hindustan mein was written in 1899 and it marks the end of an era in which for centuries Muslims and Christians had believed in the ascension of Jesus to Heaven. It being the first book ever written on the subject with such a rational approach, the book produced a most profound impact.

Its arguments were broadcast and in the past half-century it has achieved remarkable success in divesting Jesus of false appurtenances of divinity and in presenting him to the world merely as a divine prophet as he actually was.

In Muslim circles the effect has been so marked that the Rector of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo issued a Fatwa (verdict) that according to the Holy Quran Jesus had died a natural death. Its influence on the Christian mind has also been greatly disturbing.

As stated in the Introduction and also at the end of the book, Hazrat Ahmad intended to write a second part in which he would have given, besides some additional proofs of Jesus’ journey to India, a comparative evaluation of the teachings of Islam and Christianity with some cogent arguments in proof of the truth of Islam as well as of his own claim to be the Promised Messiah.

Though no other book among his writings bears this title, yet Hazrat Ahmad has discussed thoroughly all these issues with many more important ones concerning the truth of Islam, of his own claim and of the death of Jesus in quite a number of books which he wrote after the above-mentioned book.

The present English translation was made by Qazi Abdul Hamid, formerly editor of a weekly, The Sunrise, Lahore, in which it appeared serially during 1938-39. It was first published in book form in 1944 by Nashr-o-Ishaat, Sadr Anjuman Ahmadiyya, Qadian.

Besides others who have assisted us in any way in the production of this book, our thanks are due to Mr. Mauloud Ahmad Khan, a former Imam of the London Mosque, who went to great pains to gather relevant quotations from the original books which have been referred to by Hazrat Ahmad in support of his thesis. The quotations have been attached to the book in the form of an appendix.

Vakil-ut-Tabshir, Tahrik-i-Jadid, Rabwah, Pakistan

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