John Hugh Smyth Piggot

From WikiAhmadiyya, the free encyclopedia on Islam and Ahmadiyyat

Reverend John Hugh Smyth Piggot (1852-1927) was the leader of the Agapemonites, an English Christian sect, who claimed to be a god. On hearing of this claim, the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, delivered the following warning:

A letter containing these boastful and blasphemous claims has also reached the secretary of our office from Mr Piggot's private secretary. The person to whom this warning is given is not a man but a pretender to divinity who claims an everlasting life and Lordship of the heavens and the Earth. I therefore warn him through this notice that if he does not repent his irreverent claim he shall soon be annihilated.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, A Warning to a Pretender to Divinity

Piggot appears to have heeded the warning and repented from his 'irreverent claim', at least for a time. He would sign his occupation as 'priest' and mounted a plaque at his house with the words engraved: "I am a man. Nothing akin to humanity to I consider alien to me". Independent researchers and professors write:

The flamboyant Messiah [ie. Piggot] became a quiet  gentle pastor. He adopted the role of benign squire rather than that of Messiah.

D. McCormick, Piggot: The Temple of Love

[Piggot] backed off and retreated from these claims.

Dr Joshua Schwieso, Interview with MTA 

Criticism of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's prophecy

Critics have objected to the fact Piggot escaped divine punishment even after Ahmad's warning was published in 1902. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has pointed that Ahmad's warning was prefaced with the condition 'if he does not repent his irreverent claim'. As Piggot publicly recanted his claim, he was saved from punishment. 

Ahmadis also cite the case of the prophet Jonah, who is mentioned in the Quran and Bible. He also foretold the punishment of his people, but they were likewise saved after repenting:

Why was there no other people, save the people of Jonah, who should have believed so that their belief would have profited them? When they believed, We removed from them the punishment of disgrace in the present life, and We gave them provision for a while.

- Quran 10:99