John Alexander Dowie

From WikiAhmadiyya, the free encyclopedia on Islam and Ahmadiyyat

John Alexander Dowie (1847-1907) was a Scottish evangelist and faith healer best known in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for his prayer duel against Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

Dowie ministered in Australia and the USA. He founded the city of Zion, Illinois, and the Christian Apostolic Church. A charismatic preacher, he claimed to be a prophet and divinely-appointed messenger. He boasted 100,000 followers in the USA, with missionaries spreading his message around the world. Dowie particularly came to Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's notice after making a number of abusive statements regarding Isam:

The day arrives when the Mohammedan faith is effaced from the earth. O Lord! show us that hour.

John Alexander Dowie, 19 December 1902


I pray to God that Islam will soon disappear from the world. O God, accept this prayer of mine. O God, destroy Islam.

John Alexander Dowie, 14 February 1903

The black-spot on the mantle of man [Islam] will meet its end at the hands of [my sect] Zion.

- John Alexander Dowie, 5 August 1903 

Ahmad wrote to Dowie and publicly distributed as a leaflet challenging him to a prayer duel. Ahmad stated that the true prophet would outlive the false one, warning:

Be sure, calamity is due to befall Dowie's Zion.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Prophecies about Dowie

Dowie responded:

There is a Muhammadan Messiah in India who has repeatedly written to me...and people ask me why I do not answer him. Do you imagine that I shall reply to such gnats and flies? If I were to put down my foot on them I would crush out their lives. I give them a chance to fly away and live.

John Alexander Dowie, 26 September 1903

Soon thereafter, Dowie's feet became paralysed. His wife and followers left him after he was found to have embezzled money from his sect. He died within the lifetime of Ahmad and several newspapers in the US and India commented on the prayer duel:

Ahmad and his adherents may be pardoned for taking some credit for the accuracy with which the prophecy was fulfilled a few months ago.

Dunville Gazette, June 7, 1904

The Qadian man predicted that if Dowie accepted the challenge 'he shall leave the world before my eyes with great sorrow and torment. ' If Dowie declined, the Mirza said, 'the end would only be deferred; death awaited him just the same, and calamity will soon overtake Zion.' That was the grand prophecy: Zion should fall and Dowie die before Ahmad. It appeared to be a risky step for the Promised Messiah to defy the restored Elijah to an endurance test, for the challenger was by 15 years the older man of the two and probabilities in a land of plagues and famines were against him as a survivor, but he won out.

Truth Seeker, June l5, 1904

It is quite true that Hazrat Mirza Sahib was much older than Dowie. So there were more chances for Dowie to survive Hazrat Mirza Sahib. Dowie died with his friends fallen away from him and his fortune dwindled. He suffered from paralysis and insanity. He died a miserable death, with Zion city torn and frayed by internal dissensions. Mirza comes forward frankly and states that he has won his challenge.

Boston Herald, June 23, 1904

The news was published by The Pioneer (published from Allahabad), on 11th March, 1907, and by The Civil and Military Gazette (published from Lahore), on 12th March, 1907, and by The Indian Daily Telegraph (published from Lucknow), on 12th March, 1907. Hence the news was published round the world.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, Haqeeqatul Wahi


See also