The Discovery

 

Despite the various challenging claims of Ghulam Ahmad, he was not finished: He began to offer his theory about Jesus Christ. It so happened that one 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. Below we present Dr. Zahid Aziz’s translation of Mauvli Abdullah’s letter and Ahmad’s poster. You will note Maulvi Abdullah’s conclusion that Yuz Asaf, the inhabitant of the Roza Bal, was none other than Jesus Christ:

 

“Letter of Maulvi Abdullah,

inhabitant of Kashmir”

 

(“For the public benefit this is published in this poster

along with a sketch of the tomb of Jesus”)

 

“From the humble Abdullah to Huzoor Masih Mau’ood [‘Masih Mau’ood’ means, ‘Promised Messiah’],

 

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah-hi wa barakatu-hu, Holy sir!

 

“According to your order, this humble one went to that very place in Srinagar, that is, the sacred shrine and tomb of Prince Yuz Asaf, the prophet of Allah, peace be upon him, and tried to make investigations as far as was possible. I spoke to the older and aged people and also made enquiries in every respect from those who frequent the shrine and the people of the locality.

“Dear sir! From these investigations I have discovered that this tomb is, in fact, that of Yuz Asaf, prophet of Allah, peace be upon him. The tomb is located in the neighborhood where Muslims live. No Hindu lives there nor is any Hindu buried there. From the evidence of reliable persons it has been proved that this tomb has been in existence for about 1900 years, and the Muslims hold it in great reverence and respect, and frequent it. The general view is that a venerable messenger is buried in this tomb who came to Kashmir from another country to preach to the people. They say that he lived some 600 years before our Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him.

“So far it is not known why he came here [See footnote 1 below]. But these facts in any case have been proved and have reached the highest degree of certainty through repeated corroborative testimony that this venerable man who has been named Yuz Asaf by the Muslims of Kashmir is a prophet and moreover is a prince. In this country he is not known by any title of the Hindus, such as Raja, Avtar, Rikhi, Omni, Siddah, etc. On the other hand, everyone agrees in calling him nabi. The word nabi is common between the followers of Islam and the Israelites, and as in Islam no prophet came after our Holy Prophet Muhammad, nor could one come, therefore the general Muslims of Kashmir are agreed that this prophet is from before Islam.

“However, they have not yet reached the conclusion that, as the word nabi was common only to the prophets of two nations, that is, the prophets of the Muslims and the Israelites, and in Islam no prophet can come after the Holy Prophet Muhammad, this necessarily fixes that he was an Israelite prophet because no third language has ever used this word. Undoubtedly, this common usage is exclusive to only two languages and two nations [See footnote 2]. But because of the ending of prophethood, this excludes the Muslim people. Therefore it is clearly proved that this prophet is an Israelite prophet.

“This first evidence is made even more certain by the historical proof that this prophet lived 600 years before our Holy Prophet, peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, and it forces the intelligent minds to the conclusion that this prophet was Jesus, peace be upon him, and no one else. For, he is the only Israelite prophet who lived 600 years before the Holy Prophet. Moreover, this evidence shines even brighter when we consider the repeatedly occurring information that that prophet was also known as Prince, because during this period no prophet was known as prince except Jesus, peace be upon him.

“Further, the name Yuz Asaf which very much resembles the word Yasu gives yet more strength to all these sure things. By going to that place, another evidence has been discovered. As is apparent from the attached sketch, the grave of this prophet is aligned in the north-south direction, and it appears that the head is towards the north and the feet are towards the south. This manner of burial is particular to the Muslims and the People of the Book [Jews]. Another supporting evidence is that near this tomb a small distance away is a hill known as Mount Sulaiman. This name shows that some Israelite prophet came here [See footnote 3 below]. It is the height of ignorance to consider this prince-prophet to be a Hindu. This is such an error that it does not even need to be refuted in view of these shining proofs.

“The word nabi does not exist anywhere in the Sanskrit language, but is exclusive to Hebrew and Arabic, and burial is not a Hindu practice as the Hindus cremate their dead. Therefore, the form of the grave also provides absolute assurance that that prophet was an Israelite. On the western side of the grave there is a hole. People say that there emanates a very fine fragrance out of this hole. This hole is somewhat wide and reaches inside the grave. From this it is concluded that this hole has been kept for some very important purpose. Probably some things are buried in it by way of records. The ordinary people say that it contains a treasure, but this view does not appear to be credible. However, as it is not a custom in any country to keep such a hole in a grave, this makes us believe that there is some great secret in this hole. It is an even more strange matter that this hole has been in existence for hundreds of years.

“The Shia [of the Shia sect of Islam] people of this city also say that this grave is that of a prophet who came from another country as a traveler and was called by the title of prince. The Shias also showed me a book entitled Ain-ul-Hayat. This book contains a narrative which is quoted on the authority of page 119 of Ibn Babwiyya, the book Ikmal-ud-Din, and Itmam-ul-Ni’mat, but all those narrations are unfounded and senseless tales. The only real fact in this book is that the author accepts that this prophet was a traveler and a prince who came to Kashmir.

“The location of the tomb of this prince-prophet is as follows. When you come from the Jami’a mosque to the street of the Roza Bel Yameen, this sacred shrine will be found ahead there. Behind the left wall of the tomb is a street, and to the right is an old mosque. It appears that this mosque has been built near this shrine in some past age to receive blessing. Besides this mosque are houses of Muslims. There is no sign or trace of any other community. Near the grave of this prophet of Allah in the right-hand corner there is a stone, which has upon it the footprint of a man . It is said that it is the footstep of the messenger. Probably this footprint of this prince-prophet remains as a sign. These two features of this grave are there as a reflection of some hidden secrets: first, the hole which is near the grave, second the footprint engraved on the stone. The rest of the view of the tomb is shown in the attached sketch [End of letter].

“Below is shown the tomb of Isa, peace be upon him, who is also known by the names Yasu, Jesus and Yuz Asaf. According to the testimony of older people in Kashmir, this tomb has existed in the locality Khan Yar of Srinagar for about 1900 years. [Note by Translator: This sketch is on page 171, Ruhani Khaza'in, volume 14]

“Footnote 1 by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to above letter”

“The Prophet who lived 600 years before our Holy Prophet, peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, is none other than Jesus, peace be upon him. The change in the form of the word Yasu to become Yuz Asaf is quite credible, for considering that in English [usage] the word Yasu has been made into Jesus, the change to become Yuz Asaf is not more than the change to Jesus. This word has no connection whatsoever with Sanskrit. It appears to be purely Hebrew. As to why Jesus came to this country, the reason is obvious. It is that when the Jews of Palestine did not accept his preaching and attempted to kill him on the cross, then God, in accordance with His promise and also accepting his prayer, granted Jesus deliverance from the cross.

“From what is written in the Gospels, it was in the mind of Jesus to take the message of God to those Jews also who had migrated to the countries in India in the time of the destruction brought about by Nebuchadnezzar. It was to fulfill that purpose that he came to this country. Dr. Bernier, the Frenchman, writes in his Travels that many English researchers have forcefully expressed the view that the Muslims of Kashmir are descendants of the Israelites who came to this country in the times of the dispersal of the Jews. Their oval faces, long tunics, and certain customs are evidence of this. Thus it is highly believable that Jesus, having despaired of the Jews of Palestine, would have come to this country to preach to this nation.

“The Gospel recently written by a Russian traveler, which I have had brought from London, also concurs with my opinion that Jesus certainly came to this country. The accounts of the life of the prophet Yuz Asaf by some writers, whose translations have reached Europe, have put Christian clergymen to great surprise because his teachings much resemble the moral teachings of the Gospels, so much so that many passages appear to be the same. Similarly, the Gospel from Tibet is largely the same as the moral teachings of the Gospels. Therefore, these proofs are not such that a man, with the arrogance of hostility, can refute them at once. On the contrary, the light of truth is to be clearly found in them, and there are so many evidences that looking at them all together leads to the conclusion that this is not a baseless story.

“The name Yuz Asaf resembling Hebrew, Yuz Asaf being known as nabi which is a word applied only to the Israelite and Islamic prophets, this prophet being called prince, this prophet’s qualities being exactly like those of Jesus, his teaching being entirely like the moral teaching of the Gospels, his being buried in the neighborhood of the Muslims, the tomb being said to date back 1900 years, a gospel being uncovered in this age by a European and this gospel clearly proving the coming of Jesus to this country, all these are points which, when considered all together, certainly produce the conclusion that Jesus undoubtedly came to this country and died here. There are so many other evidences in addition to these that I will, Allah willing, write a book devoted to this.” [Author note: Ghulam Ahmad did write this book, and the entire book is on the Internet at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Delphi/1340/jesus_in_india.htm.]

“Note 2 by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to above letter”

“The word nabi is exclusive to only two languages, and is not used in any other language of the world. That is, it occurs (1) in Hebrew and (2) in Arabic. Besides these, none of the other languages of the world have any connection with this word. So this word which is spoken about Yuz Asaf testifies, like an inscription on the tomb, that this man is either an Israelite prophet or an Islamic prophet. But after the ending of prophethood, no further prophet can come in Islam. Therefore it is settled that he was an Israelite prophet. Considering the time that has been mentioned (as to when he lived), it is decided conclusively that he is Jesus, peace be upon him, and it was he who was known as prince.

“Note 3 by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to above letter”

“It is not necessary that by Sulaiman is meant the prophet Sulaiman, but it appears that there must have been a leader of the Israelites, whose name was Sulaiman, after whom this hill was called. It is a custom of the Jews, till the present day, that they give names after the names of prophets. In any case, this name also provides proof that the Jewish people have been in Kashmir, for whom it was essential that Jesus come to Kashmir.”

 [The reader will note that in Note 2 above, Ghulam Ahmad states that no prophet can come after Muhammad. Therefore, the inhabitant of the Roza Bal must have been a Jewish prophet. Later, though, as his followers believe, and as Ghulam Ahmad explained, God had repeatedly told Ghulam Ahmad that He (God) had appointed Ghulam Ahmad as a follower-prophet of Muhammad. Ahmadiyya literature reflects that Ghulam Ahmad himself seemed quite stunned by these revelations from God, because, just as other Muslims, he had understood Islam to teach that there could be no prophet of any type coming after Muhammad].

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 the following in its October, 1909 edition:

“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 (Jesus). 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 [Jesus] 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.’”

What we find very interesting about this account is the fact that prior to the eventual 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 Islamic scripture, the Quran, for Jesus, and also in Buddhist works. This woman, from what we can gather, nor anyone else in the area, had never attempted to make a big issue of the fact that Isa, Jesus Christ, lay in the Roza Bal. 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. This, in our view, lends quite a bit of strength to this Kashmiri tradition, as there is no ulterior motive attached to this tradition. In the tomb link, we will quote at length from a number of the actual ancient documents that mention the sojourn of Jesus Christ throughout Asia and on to Kashmir.