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The third plague pandemic claimed millions of lives in India, and raged with particular intensity in the Punjab province. By 1902, it had encroached within a few miles of the environs of Qadian.
Twenty-two years earlier, the Promised Messiah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian, had prophesied the outbreak of such a plague. He boldly proclaimed on the basis of the divine revelation that, as a sight of his truthfulness, God would safeguard Qadian — even though it lay directly in the path of this ravaging disease. The Promised Messiah (as) also pointed out that God had foretold in previous holy scriptures that He would send a severe plague as a warning in the Latter Days, when the Promised Messiah would appear.
In Defence Against the Plague, the Promised Messiah (as) reviews various proposals put forward to fight the bubonic plague, and then prescribes the true method for deliverance — that people should reform themselves and accept the Promised Messiah (as) commissioned by God.