Mirza Ghulam Ahmad had never mentioned anything about earthquakes until the first week of April 1905. Even the great Assam earthquake of 1897 (magnitude 8.1) , when the Mirza Sahib was at the peak of his polemic, did not garner much from his attention span as the tremors had not reached any of his followers or reached the Punjab. The Assam earthquake was in June of that year, while the Mirza Sahib was busy demeaning Hussain Kami, ambassador of Sultan Abdul Hameed II, the Ottoman Khalifa, and busy with Queen Victoria’s jubilee celebrations later that month, and hinting that he, the Mirza Sahib, should be the successor to the Ottoman Caliphate.
Fast forward to 1905, three years before his death. On the 4th of April, 1905, an earthquake struck Kangra and Dharamsala, and whose tremors were felt in Qadian as well. However, the Mirza Sahib was oblivious to it, and it was not until TWO days later, when the news became public, that he started having revelations about this great missed opportunity for prophecy. And prophecy he did, over and over, until he was blue in the face, about many more earthquakes in the days to come but Nature just smiled and nothing happened in his lifetime.
Much before that, he had claimed ownership to the plague in a very similar way, relating an old dream about dark-green plants to the plague, but after-the-fact as most self-declared prophets do. And he foretold of many many other plagues, and much worse than the one that had just gone by, none of which came to pass. Alas, his Yalash had not told him about the progress in science, hygiene and antiseptics and antibiotics, and the plague became a thing of the past. (Sometimes, I am amazed at how cruel Nature was to the Mirza: even when there was a 50/50 chance for some prophecy of his, Nature betrayed the poor fellow.)
Thus, dear friends and family, your cult of misery was born: from the misery of others. The way you gesticulate and are over-joyed by death and destruction is beyond human comprehension. It is simply sick — and sickening to rational human beings.
Earthquakes happen in areas that lie on geological fault lines, and scientists can now measure the stress levels and predict relatively accurately about the probability of an event. On the other hand, engineers have designed buildings in a way that damage to life and limb is minimal: two of the strongest earthquakes ever recorded — the great Chilean earthquakes of 1960 and 2010 — were not as devastating to human life as the great Lisbon earthquake of 1755. A comparison of Haiti and Chile in 2010 tell the story of good engineering and following of building codes. The difference between Quetta and Kashmir also tell the same story.
So great are the developments in seismology that recently seismologists have downgraded the Mirza’s 1905 Kangra earthquake. The same Mirza Sahib prophesied that his followers will continue to excel in knowledge. So, why can’t a bunch of Ahmadis get together and show unusual or inexplicable seismic activity at that time, or since? Oh, wait a minute — that might prove that it was all hot air? Is that the reason why you do not specialize in epidemiology or seismology, so that you can continue to shudder and smile at the ‘prophecy’?
Earthquakes and the plague are a sign of your cult and give you great satisfaction (I will not use the word ‘pleasure’ or its connotations). Populations have increased and earthquakes will continue to happen in Indonesia, Japan, around the Himalayas and in Chile, among many other areas. Do you not see how absurd and inhuman that is? Do you want to relegate your offspring to this superstitious darkness whereas the world is becoming a better place day by day? When will you awaken?
(More on the Ahmadiyya Quixotic forays into ‘knowledge’, literature and science . . . in part 3)