100 Years Ago… – Mischief of the Paighamis

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Al Fazl, 15 June 1918 

The Paighamis [otherwise known as Lahori Ahmadis] were a group of early Ahmadis that separated from the main body of the Jamaat due to their perception of leadership in the Jamaat after the Promised Messiahas. Their periodical, Paigham-e-Sulh, functioned as their central organ. Below is an article included 100 years ago in respect to some of the mischief that was brewing under their watch. 

The newspaper Paigham-e-Sulh has been publishing articles under the heading “Malfuzat [sayings] of the Promised Messiah” for some time. Some people have begun questioning their credibility and whether or not they can be trusted as authentic arguments. As this is an entirely valid question, we deem it befitting to give a comprehensive answer to it. We hope that Paigham-e-Sulh will reflect on these points with a clear-headed approach, and the mistake to which we shall draw their attention to is corrected. 

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It is clear that the content Paigham-e-Sulh includes under the heading “Malfuzat of the Promised Messiah” is not unpublished material that is only in the custody of Paigham-e-Sulh; in fact, they are such extracts that have already been published in various books and periodicals. On that basis does Paigham-e-Sulh publish them. But how strange is it that the places from where the “Malfuzat of the Promised Messiah” are obtained are never referred to! 

From a journalistic perspective this is a despicable act from which one can observe narrow-mindedness and a desperation for stretching truths. If excerpts of the Promised Messiahas are included with the intention that readers may spiritually correct their ways; if they are quoted with the intention of quoting the select servant of God in this day, who was directly appointed by God Almighty to guide the world to the right path; if they are presented so that the spiritually bereft people are able to benefit from the pearls of wisdom in a spiritually dark era, then why is it that after being shown such spiritually uplifting proofs, they are left to wander? Why are they not told which chest (books) those treasures were acquired from? Why are they not encouraged to find the treasure for themselves? 

Does Paigham-e-Sulh deem those parts of the Malfuzat as are extracted from the Promised Messiah’sas writings and speeches unworthy for someone to be spiritually enlightened through? Do they feel that it is unnecessary for the reader to want to study the original sources? If so, then why does it include these extracts in the first place? And if not, then by not providing a reference for the reader to go back and read the original source, how are they supposed to enhance their interests in the books of the Promised Messiahas?

Is this not proof enough that the heading “Malfuzat of the Promised Messiah” given by Paigham-e-Sulh is not meant to be a means of encouragement for people to refer to the original books and writings of the Promised Messiahas, rather it does so only to fill the pages of the newspaper. Otherwise, what other reason is there for including a lengthy excerpt and not providing a reference of even a couple of words? By not giving references, they perform an even more unjust act than if they were to provide references.

In the current climate, where there is a dispute between us and the Paighamis [the group that separated from the main body of the Jamaat in March 1914 due to their misunderstanding of Khilafat as the true way of leadership guidance of the Jamaat] in understanding the meanings behind writings of the Promised Messiahas and each and every word bears great significance for us, to attribute excerpts to the Promised Messiahas, to publish them and then not to provide references of their original sources is a dangerous and dishonest act, which requires a significant amount of fearlessness. We would be correct in thinking that the Paighamis are thus treading a destructive and calamitous path. They step on slippery slopes by opening doors to pollute the meanings of the Promised Messiah’sas authenticated and unauthenticated writings, which will result in nothing but disorder and conflict. Without citing references and then publishing extracts attributed to the Promised Messiahas can result in anyone omitting or adding text to suit an agenda. There are examples of the Paighamis omitting text from the writings of the Promised Messiahas despite having cited the references, so how can we trust the authenticity of extracts published by them without any references? 

Below, we shall present two or three examples of their tampering with writings of the Promised Messiahas

The first example is that of Dr Basharat Ahmad Sahib who is a Paighami and holds a high position among them. He is the father-in-law of their Amir, Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib. While penning an article against the prophethood of the Promised Messiahas, he wrote in Paigham-e-Sulh dated 14 July 1914 that the Promised Messiah stated:

“Can any right-minded person suggest that the unfortunate day still awaits Islam, when a prophet shall appear after the Holy Prophetsa, who will – God forbid – falsify the statement of the Holy ProphetsaLa nabiyya ba‘di’ [there shall be no prophet after me]?”

While the actual text of Haqiqatul-Wahi, page 29 says:

“Can any right-minded person suggest that the unfortunate day still awaits Islam, when such a prophet will appear after the Holy Prophetsa, who will appear as an altogether new prophet and break the seal of the Holy Prophetsa, consequently seizing his title of Khatam-un-Nabiyyin [Seal of the Prophets]; who will not be a prophet through obedience to him but in his own right; whose deeds and actions conflict with the Sharia [law] of Muhammadsa; who will lead people astray, not by any means other than the opposition of the Holy Quran and who will deem Islam’s disgrace an honourable act? Verily, you should know that God shall never do such a thing.”

With both extracts side by side, one can see how much Dr Basharat Ahmad Sahib tampered with the text. The Promised Messiahas denies being a law-bearing prophet and a prophet who appeared in his own right, but Doctor Sahib subtracts clauses of the text and creates a new inference that Huzooras rejected the notion of being a prophet altogether. 

The second example of tampering with text is that of Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib. Maulvi Sahib writes in one of his tracts titled Al-Qaul Al-Fasl Ki Eik Ghalati Ka Izhar that in the Promised Messiah’s book Taryaq-ul-Qulub, Huzooras stated:

“A person who is not a prophet can hold a rank superior to a prophet. This is something that all scholars and pious people agree upon.”

However, in the actual book the wording is recorded as:

“This is a partial superiority which a person who is not a prophet can hold over a prophet. This is a superiority that all scholars and pious people agree upon.”

Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib has tampered with this text to fit meanings that suit him. Regarding the Promised Messiahas he writes:

“Hazrat Sahib states, ‘While the Holy Prophetsa was still in the womb of Amina, an angel appeared and said, “O Amina, you shall give birth to a boy. Name him Ahmad.”’ Miyan Sahib [Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra] states, ‘His father never named him Ahmad; this is something that was fabricated  by someone.’ Miyan Sahib, ponder over who fabricated this? The Promised Messiah?”

This was something that Maulvi Sahib fabricated and openly attributed to the Promised Messiahas, whereas it is not to be found in any speech or book, nor has any reference ever been provided by Maulvi Sahib, despite our repeated requests. 

Those who behave in this way, i.e. fearlessly tamper with the written words of the Promised Messiahas to suit their definitions, have no shame. How can such extracts be trusted that are published without citing any references? 

If there is any other reason, aside from the two that we have given, for not citing references with excerpts (the reasons being, firstly, to prevent people from benefitting from the books of the Promised Messiahas having been acquainted with them and, secondly, being able to change the meanings through tampering with the original as and when they like) then, we would like to know, what is the reason for not citing references? What is the harm? This is something we fail to understand. 

Is Paigham-e-Sulh publishing “Malfuzat of the Promised Messiah” from their notebooks, because none of them seem to have felt the need to properly publish sayings of the Promised Messiahas. Secondly, if Paigham-e-Sulh includes unpublished writings and sayings of the Promised Messiahas then it should clearly state so. Neither does it claim to print unpublished sayings of the Promised Messiahas, nor does it provide any references. In such a case, we are compelled to believe that the purpose behind Paigham-e-Sulh not citing references next to excerpts it publishes from the writings of the Promised Messiahas is so that when the need is felt, they can tamper with the original context to create meanings that serve their agenda. 

This is sheer corruption. Its negative consequences might not have yet become apparent, but because they will become manifest in the future, all Ahmadi brothers and sisters are clearly being informed of the improper and unbefitting actions of Paigham-e-Sulh. All Ahmadis are urged not to accept any excerpt under the heading “Malfuzat of the Promised Messiah” as authentic or trustworthy unless a reference has been cited alongside it and it has been compared with the original source. These people have proven their unreliability and have shown their fearlessness in deception. 

Only a while ago the Paighamis were requested for a reference from Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib’s book, Al-Nubuwwah Fil-Islam on page 321, where he had presented a quotation, attributing it to the Promised Messiah’sas book Dafe‘-ul-Bala which said, “The Messiah [Jesusas] has complete superiority over me.” This request for the reference was sent to us for publication and only then, after two years of publishing Al-Nubuwwah Fil-Islam, they corrected it, and put the blame on the poor scribe. Had Maulvi Muhammad Ali Sahib not taken the name of the book Dafe‘-ul-Bala, neither would the reference for the quote be demanded, nor would Paigham-e-Sulh have corrected it and the mistake would have forever remained. 

Now, even if it is accepted that the quote was inadvertently and not intentionally modified, the question arises, is it not possible that out of the many pages that Paigham-e-Sulh copies, a similar error was committed previously? Of course it is possible, but the circumstances for amending the mistake can only arise until and unless Paigham-e-Sulh provide references. 

Recently, when a book was published under the watch of the Paighamis by the name of Malfuzat-e-Ahmadiyya, their Ahmadiyya counterpart, Al Hakam, proved that when a passage was quoted, the initial part was omitted as it went against a doctrine of the Paighamis. In response to this, the 5 May 1918 issue of Paigham-e-Sulh accepted that it had done this by mistake. But how was this mistake unveiled? Why did Paigham-e-Sulh feel compelled to accept the mistake on their part? The reason is that there was a reference cited with the passage, whereas had this not been the case, there would have been no outcome. 

From these examples, it becomes evident how advantageous it is to provide references and how disadvantageous it is not to. 

Can we expect Paigham-e-Sulh to quote the Promised Messiahas on this subject with references as well? If they do not give references, their ill intentions will easily be exposed. They wish to see arguments erupt in the future on the unfounded extracts that they have produced, and they desire that people remain oblivious to the original sources and the debates escalate very quickly, thus concealing the “true face” of Ahmadiyyat.

Thus, we wish to warn all Ahmadi brothers and sisters not to succumb to their deceit and they should not accept such unfounded passages as authentic. 

Among the efforts of the Paighamis to remove Ahmadiyyat from the sight of the masses is this endeavour of theirs that we have mentioned. In this manner, they have launched a heavy attack on Ahmadiyyat. Although we believe firmly that as their every effort has been frustrated and they have failed in every attempt before, the same will be the case with this effort, however it becomes incumbent for us to create awareness of their mischief and to provide the solution to this problem. 

This attack of the Paighamis on Ahmadiyyat is a perfect resemblance of the manner in which those with malicious intent fabricated Ahadith in an attempt to cripple Islam. They too sought the same plan of action in that they initially started narrating Ahadith without mentioning the names of the narrators, but when they found that they had established their credibility and that that had paved way for them to begin narrating unauthentic and fabricated Ahadith, they began pursuing their actual purpose and produced countless contrived Ahadith, spreading them so far and wide that it became impossible for everybody to determine an authentic Hadith from a fabricated one. 

This attack was no ordinary attack. It was so strong that, had God’s promise of protecting Islam not been at hand and had He not created such brave servants of Islam out of His grace and mercy who determined the right Ahadith from the wrong, it would have been very difficult to predict the outcome of Islam. 

Presently, our Paighami friends are following in the footsteps of those mischievous people who fabricated Ahadith. They wish to stir up the same sort of trouble in respect to the writings of the Promised Messiahas that was being brewed with the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa

Thus, the first step they took was to present quotations of the Promised Messiahas without their references. We wish to make clear to our Jamaat members the mischief the Paighamis are brewing and we announce that we are most certainly not prepared to accept those excerpts attributed to the Promised Messiahas as authentic that are included in Paigham-e-Sulh and are cited without references. We deem any argumentation and reasoning on the basis of such quotations to be incorrect. The entire Jamaat should heed that which we have just warned of. 

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