Sign of the Eclipses

From WikiAhmadiyya, the free encyclopedia on Islam and Ahmadiyyat

The Prophet of Islam, Muhammadsa, foretold certain eclipses would appear as signs of the advent of the Imam Mahdi:

For Our Mahdi there are two Signs which have never appeared before since the creation of the heavens and the earth, namely, the moon will be eclipsed on the first night in Ramadan and the sun will be eclipsed on the middle day, and these Signs have not appeared since God created the heavens and the earth.

Daraqutni

The lunar month begins from the first sighting of the lunar crescent, the dates on which a lunar eclipse can occur are the 13th, 14th and 15th, and the dates on which a solar eclipse can occur are the 27th, 28th and 29th. Ahmadis interpret the prophecy to mean the lunar eclipse would occur on the 13th Ramadan - the first possible night - and the solar eclipse on the 28th Ramadan - the middle of the possible days on which it could occur.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, first claimed to be the Imam Mahdi in 1891. The eclipses occurred over his hometown, Qadian, on the specified dates of Ramadan in 1894. Of this he wrote:

We are not concerned with how often solar and lunar eclipses have occurred in the month of Ramadan from the beginning of the world till today. Our aim is only to mention that from the time man has appeared in this world, solar and lunar eclipses have occurred as signs only in my age for me. Prior to me, no one had this circumstance that on the one hand he claimed to be the promised Mahdi and on the other, in the month of Ramadhan, on the appointed dates, lunar and solar eclipses occurred and he declared the eclipses as signs in his favor. 

The hadith of Daraqutani does not say at all that solar and lunar eclipses did not occur ever before, but it does clearly say that such eclipses never occurred earlier as signs, because the word takoona is used which denotes feminine gender; this implies that such a sign was never manifested before. If it was meant that such eclipses never occurred before, yakoona which denotes masculine gender was needed and not takoona which denotes feminine gender. It is clear from this that the reference is to the two signs because signs are feminine gender. Hence if anybody thinks that lunar and solar eclipses have occurred many times before, it is his responsibility to show the claimant to Mahdi who declared the solar and lunar eclipses as his signs and this proof should be certain and conclusive and this can only happen if a book of the claimant is produced who claimed to be the promised Mahdi and had written that the lunar and solar eclipses which occurred in Ramadan on the dates specified in Darqutani are the signs of his truth. In short, we are not concerned with the mere occurrence of solar and lunar eclipses even if they had occurred thousands of times. As a sign this has happened at the time of a claimant only once and the hadith has proved its authenticity and truth through its fulfillment at the time of the claimant to Mahdi.

- Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Chashma-e-Marifat