Author: Anwer Mahmood Khan
Fulfillment of a Grand Prophecy of Hazrat Ahmad (peace be upon him)
Regarding Dr. John Alexander Dowie
World Press Documents
Anwer Mahmood Khan
Printed for the Conference entitled ? Messiah 2000?
Held on August 12, 2000 at
Carthage College, Kenosha, Wisconsin
1. Introduction of Dr. John Alexander Dowie
2. Dowie?s Claims and his attitude towards other Christian Denominations
3. Dowie?s attitude towards Islam, Founder of Islam and the Muslims
4. Introduction of Hazrat AhmadAH ? a champion of Islam
5. Hazrat Ahmad?s response to the abuses of Dr. Dowie
6. Press Coverage of Hazrat Ahmad?s Challenge of the Prayer Duel
7. Dr. Dowie?s reaction to the challenge documented by his organ
8. Dr. Dowie?s trip to New York
9. Press Coverage of his New York Trip
10. Press coverage of Dowie?s Pathetic end
11. Press Coverage of the Success of Hazrat Ahmad in his challenge to Dowie.
12. Current Status of Hazrat Ahmad?s Worldwide Progress
Claims of John Alexander Dowie
A brief reflection on the life of John Alexander Dowie reveals that he made claims to three independent offices in the last decade of his life beginning with 1896. These claims depict a progressive trend in his personal status, each claim encompassing an elevated spiritual level for himself. In 1896, he founded his own Church entitled ? Christian Catholic Church? and assumed the office of General Overseer of the Church.
Mr. Rolvix Harlan in his Doctorate dissertation entitled? John Alexander Dowie and the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church writes:
January 22, 1896: Authoritative Teacher
In his address of Jan. 22, 1896, he (Dr. Dowie) sets forth an organization of the church. Icor. 12:28 reads: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” He says “Now then, what is the way of perfect wisdom as to the order of the church? What is the first office God has established?? answer, ? Apostles,? The second? ? Prophets?. ? The third? ? Teachers?. Now then, did God form a church with these offices? He did? Is that the order of the Church of God/ ? It is?. Does the Church of God ever alter? ? No? ? Can the Church of God be acceptable to Christ if it is organized after His own order? ? No”
Mr. Dowie: “I am not claiming any office; no man has heard me claim any office. I am a teacher and have taken no other place. I have not stood here claiming to be recognized as a prophet. I have not stood here claiming to be recognized as an Apostle. I have stood here as an authoritative teacher.”.. Mr. Dowie in 1896 may have doubted whereunto this thing would grow, but to whatever extent it did grow he was clearly determined to be the head. Every element introduced into the reports are calculated to strengthen his hold upon people already inclined to have him for a leader. Added to great patience in bidding his time is a shrewdness bordering upon hypocricy, which led an unwary following, step by step, to the place where they must accept the alternative of renouncing him entirely or giving him more authority, until he came to be strong enough to assume absolute authority, and then point back to the beginning of his movement and show that such had been the drift of events from the first. (pages 47-50)
June 2, 1901: Claims to be the Elijah
“As the teacher of the Christian Catholic Church in Zion, I continued to develop practically these principles in my ministry, and God used me to prepare the church for the declaration of June 2, 1901. I there stood forth before an immense audience in the Chicago Auditorium and declared that God had sent me as John the Baptist had been sent, in the Spirit and Power of Elijah”.
He further said:
“The name is not a title, it is a reality. I firmly believe in common with tens of thousands of my followers that I have been sent by God in the “Spirit and Power of Elijah” as the third and last manifestation of that prophet.., The first manifestation was in Elijah ( which means Jehova is my God) 28 centuries ago, when the worship of Baal was triumphant in Israel. This was Elijah the Destroyer. The second manifestation was in the person of John the Baptist. Mathew 13:14. He was Elijah the Preparer. The third manifestation of Elijah is in my person, of whom Christ spoke, after John the Baptist’s death, when he admitted the correctness of rabbinical contention, “Elijah must first come,” saying, Elijah indeed cometh and shall restore all things.” I am Elijah , the Restorer.” (Pages 53-57)
September 18, 1904: Claims to be the First Apostle
“I stand hereby today as the High Priest on earth and the First Apostle of the Christian Catholic and Apostolic Church in Zion of that High Priest in Heaven”
Dowie’s attitude towards other Christian Denominations
John Alexander Dowie stated:
“Let me put it simply and plainly. The purpose of the Christian catholic Church in Zion is to smash every other church in existence.”
The Methodist Churches:
“The Methodist Church, which was the greatest and most spiritual Church in America at one time, is today almost wholly controlled by the Freemasons. Nine-tenths of the bishops, and nearly all the ministers are Freemasons. Freemasonry is heathenism; because they cannot get away from the statement that they do not believe in Jesus, the Christ, and dare not mention His name.”
“Zion has no affinity with Mormonism”
Zion has no affinity with the false Zion that has sent forth a false Gospel, false prophets and a false religion under the guise of truth to curse the world?
“I never had any understanding with the Mormon authorities at any time, and I think that it is a base insult; because all of good that Joseph Smith or Brigham young ever knew, I knew apart from them or any of their followers. I will not be likened unto them for a moment! I am their superior mentally, morally, spiritually intellectually, and every other way, and I will not be likened to these wicked men.”
(Leaves of Healing, Vol. xiii page 662)
Dowie’s hatred for the Holy Founder of Islam
John Alexander Dowie can be considered as the bitterest enemy of the Founder of Islam, the religion of Islam and Muslims all over the world. His vituperation’s were explicitly covered both in his oration and also in his publications. Here are the examples of the headlines in his publications “Leaves of Healing”
“Zion will have to destroy Mohammedanism”
One of the greatest system in Orient is Mohammedanism. The Mohammedan is taught to look forward to heaven as one vast brothel and harem, where he can find satisfaction in women that are prepared for him as the creatures of lust. Zion will have to wipe out that shocking blot upon humanity. That accursed flag will have to come down from the high towers of Jerusalem. May God help me to knock at the gate of the Moslem before long!. The Moslem will fight. There are hundreds of millions of them. One of the great wars imminent is that between the Cross and the Crescent. But, beloved, there is something stronger than steel. It is the Sword of the Spirit. There is something greater than anger, It is Love. Love subdues the man; it subdues the nation, and will reach the heart.
(Leaves of Healing, Volume XIII page 474)
“The Unspeakable Turk”
“How can any one who knows exactly what Mohammedanism is, for one single moment imagine that God or man can forever stand that abomination.”
Where the Moslem hoof comes no grass grows, is the Eastern proverb. Wherever the accursed teaching of Mahomet has come there has been an end of all real progress. I pray for the day to come when the Crescent shall disappear, and when the flags, I would like to see them united there and everywhere of Great Britain and America shall float over Zion at Jerusalem, as they often do at the city of Zion near Chicago. May God Grant it! It is the time that the Moslem abomination was gone, bag and baggage, as Mr. Gladstone use to say. Let it slink away back into the deserts of Arabia whence the filthy thing emerged. May God destroy it.
(Leaves of Healing, Volume XII page 526)
“Indulgence in Damning Lust the Prize Offered in Mohammedanism and Mormonism”
“But with it all came the damning lust; that which enticed, under Mohammed, the tribes of Koresh to forsake their God and enlist under his banner, namely, that they would have women galore while they lived, and that when they died there would be a host of houris with whom they should dwell in a paradise of damning lust, eating and drinking, and be forever happy, with the happiness of a filthy brute whose highest aspirations never rise higher than its belly. This was the prize that Mohammad offered, and this is the prize that Mohammedanism still offers?..This is the prize, despite all they say, that still underlies Mohammedanism and Mormonism, and which by the grace of God, we hope to do something in smashing.”
(Leaves of Healing, Vol. XIII, Page 662)
The Terrible Danger to Christianity from Mohammedanism
“I warn the Christian nations of America and Europe. Islam is not dead. Islam is full of power. Although Islam must go, although Mohammedanism must be destroyed, remember it will not be wiped out by the effete Latin Christianity; the powerless Greek Christianity; the worn-out Christianity of those who nominally acknowledge Christ and live as gluttons and drunkards and harlots and whore mongers and oppressors.”
(Leaves of Healing, Vol. VII, August 25, 1900)
Introduction of Hazrat Ahmad (AH) the Champion of Islam
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad’s response to Dr. Dowie
“As regards the Muslims, we wish to point out respectfully to Mr. Dowie that there is no need for the fulfillment of his purpose to subject millions of Muslims to destruction. There is a very easy way of determining whether Dowie’s God is true or our God. That way is that Mr. Dowie. should keep me alone in his mind and should pray that of two of us, the one who is false may die before the other, The method I propose is that Mr. Dowie should come into the field against me with the permission of his false god. I am an old man of more than 66 years of age, I suffer from diabetes, dysentery, migraine and deficiency of blood. I realize, however, that my life depends not upon the condition of my health but upon the command of my God. If the false god of Mr. Dowie possesses any power he will certainly permit him to come forth against me.”
(Review of Religions, Vol. 1 No. 9 pp 342-8)
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad?s Challenge to Dr. Dowie for a Prayer Duel
“Recently there has appeared in the United States of America a man, apostle of Jesus, whose name is Dowie. He Claims that Jesus in his capacity of God has sent him into the world to invite people to the doctrine that there is no God besides Jesus? He has repeatedly declared in his paper that his God Jesus has told him that all Muslims will be destroyed and not one of them will survive, except those who should acknowledge the son of Mary as their God and Dowie as the apostle of that artificial god?. We have a message for Dowie that he need not be anxious to destroy all Muslims? There is a very easy way of determining whether Dowie’s God is true or our God. That way is that Mr. Dowie need not repeatedly announce his prophecy of the destruction of all Muslims, but should keep me alone in his mind and should pray that of the two of us, the one who is false may die before the other, Mr. Dowie should publish this prayer which should bear the testimony of at least one thousand persons, I too will pray accordingly and shall append to my prayer the testimony of a thousand persons, if God so wills. I am sure that through the adoption of this course A WAY SHALL BE OPENED FOR Mr. Dowie and all the Christians for the recognition of the truth, The only condition is that the death of either of us should not be compassed by human hands but should be brought about by illness or by lightning, or snakebite or by the attack of a wild beast. I grant Mr. Dowie three months to comply with my request and I pray that God be with those who are true.
(Review of religions Vol.1 No. 9 page 342-348)
Clippings from the Newspapers covering Hazrat Ahmad’s Prayer Duel
A summary Chart
1- THE ARGONOUT, San Francisco December 1, 1902
“An Anglo-Arabic Praying Match”
2- NEW YORK TIMES, Editorial March 29, 1903
Editorial: “The Rival Prophets”
3- THE INTER OCEAN, Chicago Saturday, June 27, 1903
Editorial: “Ghulam Ahmad’s Challenge”
4- THE INTER OCEAN, Chicago Sunday, June 28, 1903
“Will Dowie Fight this Duel?” Vol. XXXIL- Number 96
Who is a liar?
5- THE COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER, NY Monday, October 26, 1903
Indian Messiah Dares him to Prove his Claims
6- NEW YORK DAILY TRIBUNE Tuesday, April 3, 1906
“Dowie Down And Out”, New Leader for Zion
7- NEW YORK DAILY TRIBUNE Thursday, April 5, 1906
“Receiver for Zion”, Act to forestall Dowie?s
Threatened Flight Against Ouster
8- CHICAGO DAILY TRIBUNE March 12, 1907
– Dowie faithful Hold Last Rites – Ten Score followers of “First Apostle”
– Refuse to Participate in other Services – Not to Attend Funeral
– Gladstone Continues with Arrangements for Final Ceremonies on Thursday
9- THE DUNNVILLE GAZETTE Friday, June 7, 1907
“A Messiah in India”
10- THE TRUTH SEEKER, NEW YORK, NY Saturday, June 15, 1907
“The War of the Prophets”
11- THE SUNDAY HERALD, BOSTON Sunday, June 23, 1907
“Great is Mirza Ghulam Ahmad The Messiah”
Foretold Pathetic End of Dowie, and now
He Predicts Plague, Floods and Earthquake-
12- THE LITERARY DIGEST Vol. XXVI, Number 25
“Rival Messiah in a Proposed Prayer Duel”
13- THE TIMES, LONDON Monday, November 9, 1903
– “The Dowie Mission”
– “Dr. Dowie?s Crusade”
14- THE TIMES, LONDON Monday, March 11, 1907
15- THE NEW YORK TIMES Saturday, October 17, 1903
“Dowie and his Host Mass in the Garden”
16- THE NEW YORK TIMES Sunday, October 18, 1903
– “Elijah III’s, Hosts in Tents of Ungodly”
– Many Complaints Made-
17- THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE Sunday, March 10, 1907
– Founder of Dowieite Cult and of Zion City
– Who Died Yesterday
– Dowie, Dying, Says He?ll Live Again
– I’ll Return to Earth in 1,000 years, almost his Last Words
– Dowie an extraordinary Man
– In Robes of First Apostle
18- THE OUTLOOK ? THE WEEK April 14, 1906 (p: 825)
“Zion in a Ferment”
19- THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS July – 1906 (p: 284-285)
“Downfall of Dowie”
20- THE NEW YORK TIMES Saturday, October 24, 1903
“Dowie Leaves City, and may Not Return” (16-pages with Review of Books & Art)
21- THE NEW YORK TIMES Sunday, October 25, 1903
(26-page magazine Supplement and Financial Section)
– “Advertisement: “Dowie, His Creed and his Personality”
– Letter to the Editor: The Ways of Dowie, by Mark Marion, N.Y., October 20, 1903
– Dowie Repeating Himself
22- THE NEW YORK TIMES Thursday, October 20, 1903
“Hostile Audience Howls at Dowie”
23- THE NEW YORK TIMES Wednesday, October 21, 1903
“Carrie Nation Halts Abuse from Elijah”
24- THE NEW YORK TIMES Thursday, October 22, 1903
– Elijah Overawed by Angry Multitude – Convert for Dowie
– Trust Funds Disappear – Audience was Hostile
– Strange Revelations – Dowie was Subdued
– Elijah tells of his gifts
25- THE NEW YORK TIMES Monday, October 19, 1903
– THRONGS TURN FROM ENRAGED “ELIJAH-III”
– Half Of Vast Audience Leaves Garden Despite Guards
– Prophet Denounces City
26- THE NEW YORK TIMES Sunday, March 10, 1907
– “Dowie Dies in the City he Founded”, Neither wife nor son, whom he had
Repulsed, was at his bedside.
27- BALTIMORE AMERICAN Thursday, June 25, 1903
“Dowie versus Ghulam”
28- BOSTON DAILY ADVERTISER Thursday, June 25, 1903
Dr. Dowie, Elijah II, has received a Challenge to a Prayer Duel by
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Quadian, Punjab, India
29- BURLINGTON DAILY FREE PRESS Saturday, June 27, 1903
“A Praying Duel Proposition”-
30- DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE Thursday, June 25, 1903
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Quadian, India, threatens to pray
Prophet Elijah Dowie to Death. All right, such long range assassination
As that is permissible. Sail right in, Mirza.
31- THE SUNDAY TIMES-UNION Sunday, June 28, 1903
Jacksonville (Small News item)
One Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who dwells in Northern Hindustan, Challenges
Alexander Dowie to praying match, and threatens to pray him to death. He might
The way he spells it, but if he spelled it with an “e” Dowie would give him six in
The seven and beat him out.
32- WORCHESTER SUNDAY SPY Sunday, June 28, 1903
(Established 1770, by Isaiah Thomas)
“Alexander Dowie has a rival in India”.
THE INTER OCEAN, Chicago
Saturday, JUNE 27, 1903
“Ghulam Ahmad?s Challenge”
The Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, Punjab, India, who proclaims himself “the promised Messiah” and claims already 100,000 followers, has been greatly stirred by the recent prediction of John Alexander Dowie that when the messiah appears, all Mohammadens are to perish. Therefore he proposes a prayer duel to settle whether Dowie is really “Elijah, the Restorer,” as he says, and whether Ghulam Ahmad is really the “Messiah” as he says.
Whether the God of Mohammaden or the God of Dowie is the true God, writes Ghulam Ahmad in his organ the Gurdaspur Review of Religions, ?may be settled without the loss of millions of lives which Dr. Dowie’s prediction would involve. He should choose me as his opponent and pray that of us two whoever is the liar may perish first. He should publish the proposed prayer with the signatures of 1000 men affixed. Upon receiving it I should address the same prayer to Almighty God, and publish it with the signatures of the same number of witnesses. If Dr. Dowie has the courage to accept this challenge, he will thereby open a way for all other Christians to the acceptance of truth.?
As far as known Dowie has not yet accepted Ghulam Ahmad?s challenge. In view of the pictures of self proclaimed Mohammadan Messiah, Dowie might properly object to its terms, Ghulam Ahmad appears to be a much younger man than Dowie. Hence, in settling the question as to who should die “first.” Ghulam Ahmad would appear to have the advantage.
Therefore it would seem proper for Dowie to insist upon a change in the terms, to the purport that whichever is the liar shall die immediately. From such a prayer duel, if it had any result, something of value might be determined.
THE INTER OCEAN, CHICAGO
Sunday, JUNE 28, 1903
Vol. XXXIL Number 96
“Will Dowie Fight this Duel”
Who is a liar?
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, Punjab, India wants to know, and he believes he can get the truth out of John Alexander Dowie. The Hindoo has challenged the Zionite prophet to a duel to death and Dowie has turned up his nose at the Oriental prophet and refuses to say a word.
The man of Punjab is not a joker and he wants Elijah the Restorer to know it. He seeks the Zion potentate to fight to the finish and he has named prayer as the weapon.
Furthermore, Mirza, who claims to be the Promised Messiah has laid down the rules for the deadly combat, and he demands that Dowie either “shoot or give up the gun”.
Dowie has not accepted the challenge. He has not said that he will not. His followers say he hasn?t time for any Punjabians, and that he has enough to do in preparing to swoop down upon wicked New York in October, when he intends to scrub the territory between the Bowery and the Bronx.
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is jealous of the Illinois Messiah. He says some one is a liar and that he can prove it. And he intends doing it by prayer, a duel of prayer. He wants Dowie to stand up and pray that whoever of the pair is a liar may perish instantly. Mirza has not named his seconds nor the place of combat, but he wants a thousand men to back him up, and he is willing to give John Alexander an equally fair showing.
Mirza Is Not Prosperous
Mirza is a Mohammadan, and he is by no means an ordinary prophet. He is not a banker, nor a real estate agent and a builder of cities, nor a lace maker. He hasn’t been very prosperous as a Messiah. Qadian isn’t as profitable a field of religious enterprise as Chicago, and Dowie has the Ilendeo eclipsed when it comes to being a commercial Messiah. While Dowie is wearing a gorgeous purple robe and carrying a staff that reaches two feet above his bald poll, Mirza has only a castoff overcoat, a pair of white broaches, and a bamboo cane.
And in the matter of whiskers, Mirza is considerably handicapped. Dowie’s chin is decorated with a snowfall that reaches to his watch chain, while the Mohammedan boasts only a straggling black beard that hardly hides his collar button. But he sports a puffed and knotted turban that looks as religious if it does not outshine Dowie’s hairless pate.
Dowie is long on prayer; in fact, his orisons ascend almost continually, but according to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, they are not good prayers, and do not reach very high. Here is where Mirza expects to get the best of the captain of the Zion City baseball club. He says Dowie is a liar, and he is going to pray to Almighty to strike down the liar. The Zionites declare this is unfair, and that Mirza would not be fighting on the square, for he would only be praying for the demise of his rival and would not be asking the Almighty to judge between them.
Mirza, in his challenge, does not say he is willing to come to Zion City. He favors long distance prayers, and believes he can undo Dowie by the wireless method as easily as if he had him at his side.
The Mohammadan does not pose as a gleaner of shackles, but he does a large following. He tells the Chicago prophet that he has 100,000 devotees at his heels, and gives Dowie to understand he is no common exhorter. He has heard that Dowie . . . The Mohammadan and he wants to know why.
Mirza claims he was sent here for the reformation of the world exactly at the time fixed by calculations he has made on the biblical prophecies. After this he says to the chief Zionite:
“You should remember that this challenge does not proceed from an ordinary Mohammadan. I am the very Messiah, the promised one, for whom you are anxiously waiting”
This is not according to Dowie’s calculation.
Mirza then goes on in this wise:
“Between Dr. Dowie’s position and mine the difference is this, that Dowie fixes the appearance of the Messiah within the next twenty-five tears, while I give him the gold tidings that the Messiah has already appeared. I am the Messiah, and the Almighty God has shown numerous signs from earth as well as from heaven in my support. My following which already claims 100,000 souls is making rapid progress.
“The proof that Dr. Dowie furnishes in support of his extravagant claims is the very height of absurdity. He claims to have healed hundreds of sick men. But why did his healing power fail in the case of his own daughter, where it should have been exercised in the highest degree””
Would not Shed Blood
The Indian claimant is harmless sort of a fellow, and he doesn’t desire to shed any blood in his duel. He believes he can settle his dispute with Dowie with no more serious consequences than the death of himself or his rival.
“Whether the God of Mohammadan or the God of Dowie is the true God may be settled without the loss of millions of lives, which Dr. Dowie’s prediction would involve.” Writes the Punjab man. “That method is that, without threatening the Mohammadan public in general with destruction, he should choose me as his opponent and pray to God of us two whoever is the liar may perish first. I look upon the Son of Mary as a weak human being, although I recognize him as the prophet of God, while Dr. Dowie taken him for the Lord of the universe.
“Which of us is right is the real point at issue. If Dr. Dowie is certain of the divinity of the Son of Mary, he should publish the proposed prayer with the signatures of at least a thousand men affixed to it. Upon receiving it, I should address the same prayer to Almighty God and publish it with the signatures of the same number of witnesses.
If Dr. Dowie has the courage to accept this challenge, he will open a way for all other Christians to the acceptance of the truth. In making this proposal I have not taken the initiative; but the jealous God has inspired me upon Dr. Dowie?s presumptuous prediction that all Mohammadans shall perish.”
Has a Little Side Information
Before the Oriental gets through with the prophet of the North shore he tells him a few other interesting little things about the Savior that are not generally known outside of Punjab and the adjacent provinces.
“An important discovery regarding Jesus Christ has been made by the followers. Jesus did not die upon the Cross, but was taken down alive and senseless. Subsequently, the Son of Mary recovered, traveled eastward, and lived to a good old age. His tomb is situated in Khanyar street at Srinagar, Cashmere.”
Dowie probably will not accept the Indian Messiah?s challenge for some time to come. His prayers are taken for months ahead and he is so busy getting ready for his Christianization of Gothim that he isn’t paying any particular attention to Punjabian of any caste, be they . . . in old overcoats and white broaches.
Dowie Doesn’t like Prophets
If Mirza Ghulam Ahmad takes into his head to come to this country and board the prophet in his own land office, he will find that Dowie hasn’t been waiting at any time fooling with other Messiahs. He will find instead that Dowie has been engineering town-lot booms and directing the program of the collection takers between prayers. He will find a few stores where he can buy a new coat and a decent-looking hat, if he has the money, and he will find a hotel where he may sleep if he does not neglect the Zion City cash drawer.
But Mirza will not find a warm welcome if he comes. Dowie isn’t inviting any rival prophets or Messiahs. He doesn’t want any side shows, and, what is more, he never would listen to the Easterner’s proposition, for Mirza insists upon writing the prayer. The Zionites fear there is some sort of a hidden trick in this very proposition, and they declare they know the doctor won?t have anything to do with the plan.
At any rate, over in Punjab Dowie will be discredited if he does not enter the duel. But there are not many Hindoos in the Dowie flock, so, in the long run, it doesn’t make much difference. But the question is not one of what the followers think about it. It is, Who is a liar?
Will Dowie fight it out?
THE COMMERCIAL ADVERTISER, NEW YORK,
Monday, OCTOBER 26, 1903
Indian Messiah Dares Him to Prove His Claims
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of the Punjab Announces himself the Genuine Redeemer “Piggot Also an Imposter, Dowie Not Yet Heard From”
Dowie has a rival. From faraway India comes a printed circular from Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who writes from Qadian, in the Punjab, in which he claims to the only genuine . . . Messiah now before the public. Ahmad?s words are not marked by shrinking modesty, and he appears to look with quite pardonable disfavor upon the claims of Dr. Dowie and Piggot., the English pretender in the messiah-ship. He has issued a challenge to Elijah III to make good his pretensions but as far Zion City’s own and commercial messiah has failed in reply.
In support of his claims to divinity, the Indian Messiah declares that when the lord saw how badly things were being managed on earth, he raised him in the land of the Punjab, for His works are wonderful.
I am the true Messiah who was to come in the last ages, thus has Almighty God has spoken to me,? he announces: ? I do not claim to be the Promised Messiah simply by my own assertion, but Almighty God, Who made the earth and the heaven has borne witness on the truth of my claim. The evidence of God has been manifested in hundreds of heavenly signs shown in my support. I say it truly that Almighty God has poured His Grace upon me in far greater abundance than upon the messiah who has gone before me. In the looking glass of my person the face of God is revealed to a far greater extent than in the Jesus? person. If these are my own assertions and there is no other authority for them, I am a liar, but if Almighty God bears witness to my truth, no one can give lie to me. Thousands of times ? I should say times without number ? has He borne witness to the truth of my claim.
A sign of the evidence of God in my favor will appear on the death of Mr. Piggot, the arrogant pretender of Divinity, who shall be brought to destruction within my lifetime. Another sin will appear on Dr. Dowie?s acceptance of my challenge. If the pretender of Elijahship shows his willingness by any direct or indirect means to enter the lists against me, he shall leave the world before my eyes with great sorrow and torment. These two signs are particularly for Europe and America: ah! That they ponder over them and benefit by them.
It should be borne in mind that Dr. Dowie has not given any reply to my challenge sent to him September last, nor has he even so much as mentioned it in his paper. For as an answer to that challenge, I will wait further for a period of seven months from this day, the 23rd of August 1903. If he accepts the challenge within the period and fulfills all its conditions as published by me previously and makes an announcement to that effect in his paper, the world would soon see the end of this contest. I am about 70 years of age, while Dr. Dowie is about fifty-five, and, therefore, compared with me, he is a young man still. But since the matter is not to be settled by age, I do not care for this great disparity in years. The whole matter rests in the hand of Him Who is the Lord of heaven and earth and Judge over all judges, and He will decide it in favor of the true claimant.
But if Dr. Dowie cannot even now gather courage to appear in the contest against me, let both continents bear witness that I shall be entitled to claim the same victory as in the case his death in my lifetime if he accepts the challenge. The pretensions of Dr. Dowie will thus be falsified and proved to be an imposture. Though he may try as hard as he can to fly from the death which awaits him, yet his flight from such a contest will be nothing less than death to him, and calamity will certainly overtake his Zion, for he must take consequences of either the acceptance of the challenge or its refusal.
In view of the fact that Ahmad appears to have Dr. Dowie in a corner, it may be possible that the latter will prefer to stay there rather than come out in the open and leave the world with great sorrow and torment.
Full information regarding the Indian Messiah (copyrighted), the arguments and signs which support his claims, his moral teachings, the truth and knowledge he brought, and the path he teaches for seeking union with God will be furnished by the ? Review of Religions? published monthly at Qadian, for the trifling sum of 6 shillings strictly in advance.?
THE LITERARY DIGEST
Volume XXVI, No. 25
“Rival Messiah in a Proposed Prayer Duel”
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, of Qadian, Punjab, India, is the ?promised Messiah,? according to statements made over his own signature. He has challenged Dr. Dowie, of this country, to a duel, the weapon being prayer and each side to petition ?the Almighty that of us two whoever is the liar may perish first.? The person who issues this challenge, according to The Review of Religions (Gurdaspur, India), is the ?promised Messiah? sent for the reformation of the world exactly at the time fixed by calculations based on biblical prophecies as the time of the advent of the ?Messiah,? and has a following of over a hundred thousand members, “rapidly growing.” The teaching of this Messiah is that Christ was a mere mortal, a good man, without divinity. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad further declares in the organ already named:
Dr. Dowie should further bear in mind that this challenge does not proceed from an ordinary Mohammaden. I am the very Messiah, the promised one, for whom he is so anxiously waiting. Between Dr. Dowie’s position and mine the difference is this that Dowie fixes the appearance of the Messiah within the next twenty-five years, while I give him the glad tidings that the Messiah has already appeared. I am the Messiah, and Almighty God has shown, numerous signs from earth as well as from the heaven in my support. My following, which already claims a hundred thousand souls, is making a rapid progress. The proof that Dr. Dowie furnishes in support of his extravagant claims is the very height of absurdity. He claims to have healed hundreds of sick men. But why did his healing-power fall in the case of his own beloved daughter, where it should have been exercised in the highest degree.
John Alexander Dowie, writes the messiah, ?claims to have been sent by the son of Mary in his capacity of Godhead, that as his apostle he may draw the whole world to a belief in the despicable dogma of his divinity. The Indian claimant proceeds:
“Whether the God of Mohammaden or the God of Dowie is the true God may be settled without the loss of millions of lives which Dr. Dowie?s prediction would involve. The method is that, without threatening the Mohammedan public in general with destruction, he should choose me as his opponent and pray to God that of us two whoever is the liar may perish first. I look upon the son of Mary as a weak human being, although I recognize him as the prophet of God, while Dr. Dowie takes him for the Lord of the Universe. Which of us is right, is the real point at issue. If Dr. Dowie is certain of the divinity of the son of Mary, he should publish the proposed prayer with the signatures of one thousand men affixed to it. Upon receiving it, I should address the same prayer to Almighty God and publish it with the signatures of the same number of witnesses. If Dr. Dowie has the courage, he will thereby open a way for all other Christians to the acceptance of the truth. In making this proposal, I have not taken the initiative, but the jealous God has inspired me upon Dr. Dowies presumptuous prediction that all Mohammedans shall perish.”
An important discovery regarding Jesus Christ? has been made by the followers of the challenging Messiah, as we read in the Indian publication already named. The discovery is that “Jesus did not die upon the Cross,” but was taken down alive and senseless. Subsequently the son of Mary recovered, traveled eastward, and lived up to a good old age. His tomb, it is also stated, is situated in the Khan Yar Street at Srinagar, Cashmere. Our authority opines: “The incontrovertible testimony afforded by the tomb itself, backed as it is by the unanimous oral testimony of hundreds of thousands of men, and by the written evidence of ancient documents, becomes in our opinion too strong to be resisted by the most determined of skeptics.”
THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 1903
DOWIE VERSUS CHULAM
There is trouble in faquirdom. Comes now the pot and challenges the kettle to a contest in blackness. In other words, comes Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Quidian, Punjaub, India, defying the notorious Alexander Dowie of Chicago to a test of genuineness of the respective afflati that move the two. Ghulam grows orientally picturesque in wording hid defi and says:
“Come thou, O self-styled prophet; let us kneel on our knees in the dust of the earth, you and I together and petition the Almighty that of us two whoever is the liar shall perish first.”
It is up to Dowie. The puissant Ghuly claims to be the promised Messiah, that he fulfills exactly the scriptural requirements as to date, pedigree etc., and he also claims to have one hundred thousand followers ?rapidly growing?, Mirza entrusted with the reformation of the world. Tough job, Mirza, tough job. The world has a terrific start of you. Delaware has just had a mob, New York?s prisons are filling up with millionaires and the postal scandal isn?t half through. Besides, there?s Servia and Russia and Turkey and the rest of those out-broken sinners in you nearer vicinity. O Mirza, “aren’t you up against it good” And, even when you should have pacified the state of Addicks, set the New York money aristocrats straight and civilized the European provinces would not there be still Kentucky and St. Louis to say nothing of Chicago’s automobile burglars.
And then think what a task you are setting for the avenging angel in asking a quick decision as to which ? Mirza Ghulan Ahmad or Alexander Dowie- is THE liar!
And that when the two of them were kneeling together ?on their knees in the dust of the earth, and furnishing such a tempting target for a forked holt of lightning!
No, Mirza, you ask too much. You have placed Mr. Dowie in a position that would result undoubtedly in the death of both of you, or in you both being ignored by the Almighty, whom you presumptuously and ignorantly blaspheme. No doubt the latter course would be adopted, as there are too many sane, earnest people in the world for the Director of the Universe to waste and time on either you or Dowie.
BOSTON DAILY ADVERTISER
JUNE 25, 1903
Dr. Dowie, Eliha II, has received a challenge to a prayer duel by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Quadian, Punjab, India.
If Dr. Ahmad had only challenged the second Elijah to pronounce his name and address correctly, he would stand a better chance of winning with his own choice of weapons.
BURLINGTON DAILY FREE PRESS
SATURDAY, JUNE 27, 1903
A Praying duel Proposition
People in different parts of the country have been seriously discussing the efficacy of prayer in connection with the breaking of the recent drought, and there have been two sides to the question, particularly where one party was praying for rain while another party was seeking continued pleasant weather.
A proposition to make a test in connection with prayer has just been put forth, however, in which there is little chance for controversy over the final result. Elijah Dowie, the religious pretender of Chicago, has just been challenged by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Quadian, Punjaub, India, to engage in a supplication duel to death. ?Come thou, O self-styled prophet, to a duel,? says Mirza in his ?defi.? ?The weapons shall be prayer. Let us kneel on our knees in the dust of the earth, you an I together, and petition the Almighty that of us two whoever is the liar shall perish first.?
According to the code of honor Prophet Dowie as the challenged party should unquestionably have the choice of weapons, but the “Promised Messiah” has shrewdly proposed a test which the Chicago pretender cannot well afford to decline. To refuse to accept prayer as a test would be to acknowledge that he was unwilling to rest his case with the most powerful agency at his command, if his pretensions be true. On the other hand, it must be admitted that Dowie has no mean to antagonist. Mirza claims to be the “Promised Messiah,”sent for the reformation of the world exactly at the time fixed by calculations based on Biblical prophesies as to the time of the advent of the Messiah, and he is credited with a following of over 100,000 numbers, with the number rapidly growing. Dowie has not yet indicated his decision, but if he declines to accept this novel challenge the public may look for a rapid decline in Dowie stock.
THE DEMOCRAT AND CHRONICLE
THURSDAY, JUNE 25, 1903
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Quadian, India, threatens to pray Prophet
Elijah Dowie to death. All Right. Such long range assassination
As that is permissible. Sail right in, Mirza.
THE ARGONAUT, San Francisco
Dec 1, 1902
The Argonaut has received, for review, from Mufti Mohammad Sadiq, of Qauadian, Gundaspur, India, a pamphlet by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, of the same address, who, we glean, holds the position of Chief of Quadian. The brochure is printed in English, very good English, too?and is entitled, ?An Answer to Dr. Dowie’s Prediction of a General Destruction of All Muhammadens. This work, mixed in, on the reviewer’s desk, with commonplaces by Bangs, historical novels by Indiana school-ma?ams, and dry-looking ventures in economics by pale, aspiring, young professors, strikes one as a weird and wildly strange anachronism. And that vivid impression is confirmed by perusal of its pages.
For Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, according to his own modest admission, has been raised by Almighty God in these letters day to redeem the world. “About a hundred thousand persons, says Mirza, have already converted by me from the ways of evil. God has shown more than one hundred and fifty heavenly signs and wonders at my hands to which publication was given before their occurrence. I am the very Messiah, the promised one.” Like a good Mussulman, our Indian friend cast reflections on the divinity of the author of Christianity. “That religion,? he says, “is one that can not make its stand for a moment against the strong current of reason.” More than this, indeed, for he devotes two pages to showing, conclusively, that the Christ did not die upon the cross; that He was resuscitated by Joseph of Arimathea; that He then ?thought it advisable to bid adieu to his native land and travel eastward, spending his remaining days peacefully in the Valley of Cashmere. And to clinch his argument, the Messianic Ahmad of Quadian presents to the reader’s astonished gaze a half-tone illustration of an imposing structure, with the legend, “The Tomb of Jesus Christ”, Khan Yar Street, Srinagar, Cashmere!
Having thus disposed of this question, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad casts over the world an omniscient eye and perceives in the West the sinister and majestic figure of a formidable adversary, a veritable anti-Christ, in the person of John Alexander Dowie, of Chicago. Also there is borne to him on the ?winds that blow from heaven? rumor of Dowie?s prophecy that Muhammadans and all other persons who do not come into Zion (located in Cook County, Ill.), are to perish utterly. To this prediction, Ahmad replies. Robbed of its verbiage, his answer is: “Why should Muhammadans perish” Why should blood of thousands be shed? I am the head of a great company; you, also, have many followers. Let the question, then, who is the divine representative on earth be decided between the two of us. Let each call on the name of his God, and let him that is answered be judged worthy. This has a strangely familiar sound. The modern praying contest, however, differs in some respects from that ancient one between the priests of Baal and Prophet Elijah. For the invocation is not to be for fire from heaven, but (they are Ahmad?s italics) ?that the pray of God shall be that of us two whoever is the liar may perish first? ! Surely ?tis a proposition, fair and most bold; and the further specifications are equally reasonable. Ahmad?s idea is that Elijah Dowie (if he assents) shall publish the prayer for Ahmad’s ill fare with the signatures of at least one thousand men affixed to it, whereupon he, Ahmad, will do likewise. This militant prophet of Islam further points out that the chances all favor his opponent, since Dowie is ten years younger than himself. The only restriction he imposes is that death shall not occur through human hands (a crafty and suspicious provision, that), but shall be the result of ?a disease, stroke of lightning, or snake-bite.?
?Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished that John Alexander assent to this proposition from Mirza Ghulam. Amid dry discussions of the tariff, scraps over Alaskan boundaries, difficulties with an Isthmian canal, or what not, a praying contest between the Elijah of Cook County, with his petition in English, signed by Joneses, Johnsons, Smiths, and Browns, and the Chief of Quadian, with his document in Arabic signed by Hindbads, Sindbads, and Ali Babas, will be altogether refreshing. In fact, with Doukobor crusaders rampant in Canada, with dusky Virgin Marys persistently being discovered in the Phillipines, with Friar Johns making it hot for the Russian Government, with Katherine Tingleys and Mother Eddys, a Mormon renaissance in the United States Senate, and an Anglo-Arabic praying match, the winter of 1902-3 will take on a fine, glamorous, medieval aspect.
Well, it’s up to you, “Lige.”
Boston, June 27, 1903
“John Alexander Dowie, the Scotch impostor who has built up a flourishing New ion, near Chicago, has found a dangerous rival in a Hindoo gentleman living in Qadian, in the Punjab. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, for such is his name, Ghulam being rather suggestive, sends us a broad sheet with his picture and some account of his claim to be the promised Messiah. The portrait is not impressive, representing a middle aged, heavy featured person, bearded and turbaned, and pigeon toed as to his terminal facilities. He says that he has 100,000 disciples and he resents Apostle Dowie’s pretensions to a divine mission. But he is reasonable champion and issues a challenge to Dowie.
That, without threatening the Mohammedan public in general with destruction, he should choose me as his opponent and pray to God that of us two whoever is the liar may perish first. Which of us is right, is the real point at issue. If Dr. Dowie is certain he should publish the proposed prayer with the signatures of at least one thousand men affixed to it. Upon receiving it, I should address the same prayer and publish it with the signatures of the same number as witnesses. If Dr. Dowie has the courage to accept this challenge, he will thereby open a way for all other Christians to the acceptance of the truth.
We have omitted some of the blasphemous terms of the challenge, which are no more than Dowie’s, however. As the latter is able to count his dupes by thousands, we cannot afford to hang the credulity of the Mohammedan of Punjab. Mr. Dowie is coming East to capture New York, in the fall. We suggest that Mr. Ghulam will come West to see him. The prayer-test, if tried might expose both of them.?
The New York Times
March 27, 1903
THE RIVAL PROPHETS
It is definitely settled that this community is to be invaded in October next by the spectacular Mr. Dowie and several thousands of his followers. Mr. Dowie is the founder of the City of Zion,(Illinois) from which point he says he has projected over Chicago a purifying influence. The purpose of invasion is to effect a similar moral regeneration here. It is timely to recall that Mr. Dowie has proclaimed himself to be in fact the prophet ELIJAH, though his recognition in that capacity is limited. Some of the Chicago newspapers habitually and familiarly refer to him as “Lije”, but it is suspected that this is mere ribaldry. Serious persons out there say he does not show the distinguishing characteristics of the fiery Tishbite. Although the general incredulity does not seem to embarrass Mr. Dowie, still it is reasonable to suppose that on the eve of his departure for a new and more important scene of activity he must welcome any opportunity to establish his historic identity. Such an opportunity has presented itself.
Mr. Dowie(as the prophet) has foretold the destruction of all who do not believe in the divinity of his mission; and he has gone out of his way to include the distant Mohammedans in the grand Cataclysm. It happens that Far East has its own prophets and they naturally consider this attack as contrary to the ethics of the profession. To maintain their own prestige they must down the arrogant Westerner. It is an old story that when prophets fall out there is Hail Columbia to pay. One Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, a Mohammedan of Quodian, Gurdaspur, India(having 100,000 followers) has issued a challenge which would suit the indisputable Elijah down to the ground. Popular opinion as to the verity of Mr. Dowie?s claim will depend a good deal on his treatment of this challenge. Ahmad’s proposition is that the Western prophet and 1000 of his people shall pray for the early death of the Mohammedan Messiah, while the latter and a similar number of gifted Moslems shall petition for the speedy deletion of Mr. Dowie. The first of the two is to be proclaimed as a liar throughout the world.
A genuine Elijah would jump at such a proposal. When the early priests of Baal denied the prophetic supremacy of Elijah, he dared the whole outfit (numbering 450 experienced professionals) to a prayer test. No handicap could dash him. But one against hundreds, he even deluged with water the woodpile he reviled the perspiring priests and spurred them on with insults is a matter of record.
This is the kind of prophet Elijah was. This incident is recalled because Ahmad’s challenge is much like that of ELIJAH to the priests, and weather the founder of Zion ( Illinois) is in error as his own identity will be determined by the acceptance or rejection of this test. The Mohammedan is generous rather than fair. He waives the consideration that he is ten years the elder and he stipulates that death shall be by disease, lightning stroke or snakebite. The normal death rate of Chicago is far below that of Quodian, and statistics show 673 deaths from snakebites in India last year and none in Cook County. Apart from the prayers the conditions favor Mr. Dowie.