Jesus in India (book)
| Part of a series on:
Jesus in India (Urdu: ہندوستان میں مسیح Masīh Hindustān Meiń) is a treatise written by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement. The treatise, which was then published as a book, discusses Jesus’ possible survival from crucifixion and his subsequent migration towards Kashmir in order to preach to the 'Lost Tribes of Israel'. Ghulam Ahmad argued his case with reference to Christian as well as Muslim scriptures and medical and historical books including ancient Buddhist records, although independent modern scholars such as Norbert Klatt (1988) have rejected Ghulam's use of these sources as misreadings of material unrelated to Jesus.
The treatise was completed in 1899, was partly serialised in the Review of Religions (which he founded in 1902) until 1903; and was then published shortly after Ghulam Ahmad’s death in 1908. The first complete English translation was published in 1944.
Content of the book
The treatise suggests that Jesus, having survived crucifixion, discreetly left Roman jurisdiction for the East, starting his journey from Jerusalem and passing through Nasibus and Persia, eventually reaching Afghanistan where he met the Israelite tribes who had settled there after their escape from the bonds of Nebuchadnezzar centuries before. From here he travelled to Kashmir where some Israelite tribes had also settled and lived there until his death at an old age.
Ghulam Ahmad also differs herein from other individual’s views, who on account of the resemblance between Buddhistic and Christian teachings and between the life of Jesus and that of Buddha as recorded in their respective scriptures; held that Buddhistic teachings must somehow have reached Palestine and incorporated by Jesus, or that he must have travelled to India pre-crucifixion and returned to Palestine after having imbibed Buddhistic teachings.  As opposed to this Ghulam Ahmad asserts that Jesus came to India only after the crucifixion and it was not he who borrowed Buddha’s teachings but the Buddhists who seem to have reproduced elements of the Gospels in their scriptures. Ghulam Ahmad is able to support this view by arguing that Jesus also preached to the Buddhist monks some of whom were originally Jews, as asserted in this work. They having accepted him as the manifestation of the Buddha, the 'Promised Teacher' incorporated his teachings into those of Buddha’s.
Jesus in India also contains claims on the whereabouts of the Lost Tribes of Israel, suggesting that these tribes were scattered throughout Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Western China. It also provides a list of tribes of these regions seeking to trace their Israelite roots.[dubious ]
The initial work was indented to comprise ten chapters but due to unforeseen circumstances and as stated by the Ahmadis, Ghulam Ahmad, having to attend to other important works, ended the book with four chapters:
- Evidence from the Gospels
- Evidence from the Quran and Authentic traditions
- Evidence derived from Medical Literature
- List of Books mentioning Marham-i-Isa (ointment of Jesus), and that the Ointment was Prepared for Jesus’ Wounds
- Evidence from Historical Records
- Evidence from Islamic literature concerning Jesus’ journeys
- Probable Route Map of Jesus’ Journey to India
- Evidence from Buddhist Records
- Evidence from Historical Writings which Show that Jesus’ Journey to the Punjab and Neighbouring Territories was Inevitable
- List of 24 Tribes of Abdalees
Ahmadiyya literature states that one of Ghulam Ahmad’s disciples, Khalifa Nur Din (or, Noor al-Din) of Jalalpur Jattan, District Gujrat, Pakistan 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 that, according to their traditions, the remains of Jesus Christ lay in the Roza Bal. He also brought back a sketch of the Roza Bal. Thereafter, 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.
Ghulam Ahmad began studying the local traditions of the people of Kashmir, both oral and written, and discovered that these traditions, as mentioned in the letter from Maulvi Abdullah, referred to the Roza Bal as the tomb of Nabi Isa (Prophet Jesus). According to this information, the Muslims in that locality did not believe Jesus to be in heaven, as was taught by the orthodox clergy. The Ahmadiyya publication, Review of Religions, recorded this belief in its October, 1909 edition.
The claims of the book regarding a journey of Jesus to India are rejected by scholars. The documents used by Ahmad were reviewed by the German indologist Günter Grönbold in Jesus in Indien. Das Ende einer Legende (Munich, 1985), with Grönbold concluding that Ahmad had misidentified material from the Barlaam and Josaphat texts relating to a Christianized version of the life of Siddhartha Gautama, not of Jesus. Another German scholar Norbert Klatt in Lebte Jesus in Indien? (1988) examined the same Muslim and Christian source texts and came to the same conclusions as Grönbold.
- Jesus in Ahmadiyya Islam
- The Ten Lost Tribes
- Turin Shroud
- The Jesus Conspiracy
- Writings of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
- Unknown years of Jesus
- The publisher's note (page v) at the beginning of the book states: "Written in 1899, and partly serialized in Review of Religions in 1902 and 1903, the book itself was posthumously published on 20th November 1908." Jesus in India by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1 July 2003) ISBN 1853727237
- J. Gordon Melton The Encyclopedia of Religious Phenomena 2007 p377
- Klatt, Lebte Jesus in Indien? Göttingen : Wallstein-Verlag, 1988
- Historia animae utilis de Barlaam et Ioasaph (spuria): Einführung 2009 3110210991 "...Jahrhunderts, in dem auf die Barlaam-Parabel vom König und seinem weisen Ratgeber (Kitāb Bilawhar wa Būdāsf, übers. ... Ghulām Ahmad aber scheint ganz selbständig eine Manipulation von Yūdāsafzu Yūzāsaf vorgenommen zu haben, und sie ist für ihn höchst wichtig: Das Grab in Srinagar ... 99 101 sein Buch überarbeitet104, Grönbold und Klatt sogar ins Literaturverzeichnis aufgenommen, 156 "