A misinterpretation of an extract of the Promised Messiah about “his tribe”

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Last Updated on 4th February 2022

Nauman Hadi, Mohtamim Isha‘at, MKA UK

Recently, a quote of the Promised Messiahas was circulated on social media with the impression being conveyed through it that the Promised Messiahas said a time would come when his own progeny would fall from the high spiritual station he expected. Some incorrectly interpret it to mean a disastrous split in the progeny of the Promised Messiahas

Misrepresenting, misconstruing and cherry-picking certain words from the writings of the Promised Messiahas to level an allegation is a common practice of those who oppose the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. As common as it is, it has a very simple and easy rebuttal: read a few pages before and a few pages after the quoted extract and the reality becomes apparent. If only those circulating this extract had done the same. 

The exact text being circulated has been reproduced below. It should be kept in mind that these are not the words of the Promised Messiahas, rather they are a translation of the Arabic that appears in the book Anjam-e-Atham. Further, this is translation (and an incorrect one) and not the translation published by Islam International Publications. 

The Urdu translation being circulated on social media was:

میرے ربّ نے مجھے خبر دی ہے کہ میرا کنبہ ایک دفعہ پھر فساد کی طرف لوٹ جائے گا اور وہ خباثت اور عناد میں بڑھ جائے گا۔ پس اسی دن رب العباد اپنا فیصلہ جو اس نے مقدر کیا ہے اس کو صادر فرمائے گا۔ اس کی عطا کو کوئی نہیں روک سکتا۔اور میں دیکھتا ہوں کہ وہ اپنی پہلی خصلتوں کی طرف مائل ہوگئے ہیں اور ان کے دل سخت ہوگئے ہیں جیسے جاہلوں کی عادت ہے۔ انہوں نے خوف خدا کے ایام کو فراموش کر دیا اور وہ تکذیب اور زیادتی میں بڑھ گئے۔ پس اللہ اس وقت اپنا امر نازل کرے گا جب وہ دیکھے گا کہ وہ غلو میں بڑھ گئے اور اللہ ایسا نہیں کہ وہ کسی قوم کو عذاب دے جب کہ وہ اس سے ڈرنے والی ہو۔

The original Arabic is (see image below):

This has not been officially translated into English, but an approved English rendering is:

“And I do not say this [above] except after being informed by my Lord. And my tribe shall return once more to disorder, and they shall increase in foulness and adversity. Thus, the decreed matter from the Lord of Men shall descend that day. None can stop what He decrees, and none can hinder what He bestows. And I see them, that they have reverted to their old practice, and their hearts have hardened as is the way of the foolish, and they have forgotten the days of fear, and fallen back upon falsifying and transgression. Thus, shall the decree of Allah descend when He sees them transgress. And Allah is not such that He punishes a nation in a condition that they fear [Allah].”

The text being circulated inaccurately begins with, “My Lord has informed me that my tribe shall return once more to disorder”. However, the actual translation is what has been produced above. Anyone can easily compare the difference and note how an attempt has been made to deem something to be a prophecy, which, in reality, is not. 

Moreover, the words “My Lord has informed me” relate to the previous words of the Promised Messiahas that appear before this paragraph. 

Naturally, a few questions arise. Firstly, should this not apply to the family of the Promised Messiahas when clearly the words “my tribe” have been used? Secondly, if this does not apply to the family of the Promised Messiahas then who does it refer to?  

The background to this extract

It is seldom the case that the words of any author can successfully be cherry-picked without full context. In this instance, merely by casting a glance at the preceding page, it becomes clear that the prophecy of Ahmad Baig is being discussed by the Promised Messiahas; he explains the background to the prophecy and then concludes with the words that the family of Ahmad Baig (who were part of the same tribe as the Promised Messiahas) may revert to disorder. 

To fully understand why the words from Anjam-e-Atham refer to Ahmad Baig’s family, it would be apt to briefly discuss the prophecy. After this the entire matter becomes apparent. 

The prophecy of Ahmad Baig 

When the Promised Messiahas claimed to be a reformer and a Messiah, some of his co-laterals (which comprised of his uncles, cousins etc.) refused to accept him. Not only did they refuse, but they put on the cloak of active opposition and renounced the religion of Islam altogether. Mirza Ahmad Baig (the father of Muhammadi Begum) and his relatives decided to propagate their vilification of Islam and published a booklet that mocked and insulted Islam. Furthermore, the booklet also demanded a sign to be shown by Muslims in favour of their religion, if indeed it was the true religion. This caused the Promised Messiahas much grief and he supplicated before Allah the Almighty to be granted victory over those who reviled Allah and His Messengersa

Allah the Almighty answered the prayers of the Promised Messiahas and revealed to him that misfortune upon misfortune would befall their lot if they did not repent from their wicked ways. Soon, Mirza Ahmad Baig required the assistance of the Promised Messiahas in a matter about his estate. The Promised Messiahas, after praying and performing istikhara, informed Mirza Ahmad Baig that Allah the Almighty had told him “to establish a relationship with [Hazrat Ahmad] by giving his elder daughter, Muhammadi Begum in marriage to [Hazrat Ahmad] and thus obtain light from his light”. 

Additionally, if Mirza Ahmad Baig did not marry Muhammadi Begum to the Promised Messiahas and married her to someone else, the prophecy mentioned that he would die within three years of such a marriage taking place and such a marriage would not be fruitful and would face many misfortunes. However, Mirza Ahmad Baig was not deterred and married Muhammadi Begum to Mirza Sultan Muhammad in April 1892, as a result, Ahmad Baig died of typhoid six months later. 

This caused a great deal of panic in the family of Mirza Ahmad Baig and many of them repented and reverted to Islam, adopting the humility and meekness which was lacking before. 

It is narrating this entire episode in Anjam-e-Atham that the Promised Messiahas writes:

“And my tribe shall return once more to disorder, and they shall increase in foulness and adversity. Thus, the decreed matter from the Lord of Men shall descend that day. None can stop what He decrees, and none can hinder what He bestows. And I see them, that they have reverted to their old practice, and their hearts have hardened as is the way of the foolish, and they have forgotten the days of fear, and fallen back upon falsifying and transgression. Thus, shall the decree of Allah descend when He sees them transgress. And Allah is not such that He punishes a nation in a condition that they fear [Allah].”

It becomes obvious to the reader that the reference is to Ahmad Baig’s relatives – not the righteous progeny of the Promised Messiahas.

Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi

Overlooked and obvious facts 

The wording of the extract from Anjam-e-Atham itself, without much need for research into the historical context, clarifies who has been referred to by the Promised Messiahas

Firstly, the words “shall return once more to disorder” clearly show that the progeny of the Promised Messiahas is not being referred to, for when did they ever go astray in the first place for them to “revert” back to disorder? Secondly, when did the progeny of the Promised Messiahas ever fall “back upon falsifying and transgression”? The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that these are some other people who, before their current condition of being at peace with Islam, used to falsify, transgress, create disorder and were averse to the Promised Messiahas

Prophecies of the Promised Messiahas about his family 

This becomes glaringly obvious when we reflect on what the Promised Messiahas wrote about his progeny by way of prayers. For instance, the Promised Messiahas has filled the entire nazm (poem) entitled Mahmud ki Amin [Mahmud’s completion of the first reading of the Quran] with prayers for his children. He writes:

“In what way can I express my gratitude, O my Lord; You have granted me these three servants of yours.

“Make them fortunate, grant them faith and wealth; Safeguard them Yourself [O Lord]; may Thy mercy be upon them.

“Make these three Thy servants the leaders of the age; Make them guides for the world – together be they light.”

Such prayers – of which only a few have been listed above – prove the regard the Promised Messiahas had for his children. Could it be assumed that the Promised Messiahas prayed for them in such a way yet his prayers were not accepted and, God forbid, his progeny becomes astray? Nay! Both these characteristicsworld – those of transgression and atheism, and those of high spiritual moralsworld – cannot be combined in a person. Therefore, to apply the warning of the Promised Messiahas found in Anjam-e-Atham to his progeny would be a grave misunderstanding of the words of the Imam Mahdi.

In another instance we find the revelation:

يا‭ ‬اٰدم‭ ‬اسكن‭ ‬انت‭ ‬و‭ ‬زوجك‭ ‬الجنة۔‭ ‬يا‭ ‬مريم‭ ‬اسكن‭ ‬انت‭ ‬و‭ ‬زوجك‭ ‬الجنة۔‭ ‬يا‭ ‬احمد‭ ‬اسكن‭ ‬انت‭ ‬و‭ ‬زوجك‭ ‬الجنة‭‬

Meaning, “O Adam, live thy and thy wife in paradise. O Mary, live thy and thy wife in paradise. O Ahmad, live thy and thy wife in paradise.”  

Such emphasis has been placed by Allah the Almighty upon the Promised Messiahas and his wife – which can also refer to his family – living in Paradise that the allegation that these people shall become astray cannot arise. 

Furthermore, another revelation has referred to the family of the Promised Messiahas as being from the ahl-e-bait itself. In another instance, Allah the Almighty told the Promised Messiahas:

“I shall greatly increase thy progeny and shall grant it blessings”. 

What can be concluded from the above is that there were so many glad-tidings, in such abundance, with such intensity of blessings that there remains no possibility that the extract in Anjam-e-Atham refers to the righteous family of the Promised Messiahas

What does the Arabic actually say? 

The Arabic begins with the phrase ان‭ ‬عشيرتی meaning “Surely, my tribe”. Of course, the Urdu extract circulating on social media mistranslates this to “my family”. Even the Urdu word كنبه is a mistranslation as in the original Arabic book, beneath the Arabic wording we find a running Persian translation (as can be seen in the image below). In the Persian translation – which should be taken to be approved by the Promised Messiahas as it was present in the first edition or may have even been conducted himself – the word for عشيرتی is قبيله or “tribe”. From this, it becomes clear that the Promised Messiahas was referring to his co-laterals and not his own household. What strengthens this is that the Promised Messiahas has, himself, defined the word عشيرتی. He writes:

اعلم‭ ‬انّ‭ ‬زوجة‭ ‬احمد‭ ‬و‭ ‬اقارِبَهَا‭ ‬كَانُوْا‭ ‬مِنْ‭ ‬عَشِيْرَتِیْ

Meaning, “Know that the wife of [Mirza] Ahmad [Baig] and her close relations were my relatives”. The word عشيرة also appears in the Holy Quran – Surah al-Shu‘ara, verse 215 – where it appears as ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬اَنۡذِرۡ‭ ‬عَشِيۡرَتَكَ‭ ‬الۡاَقۡرَبِيۡنَmeaning “And warn thy nearest kinsmen.” 

It was after this revelation that, according to Sahih al-Bukhari, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa gathered the people of Mecca and asked them whether they would believe him if he were to say there was an army behind a mountain – he did not warn his household, but rather, the people of his tribe which grants an illustration to whom the Promised Messiahas was referring to. 

These types of allegations have always been levelled

It should be noted that these types of allegations that, God forbid, the family of the Promised Messiahas had gone astray, have arisen in the past as well. In a way, they are aimed indirectly at Khilafat. It was when Khawaja Kamaluddin and Maulvi Muhammad Ali objected to the Khilafat of Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmadra that this allegation was propagated, that since the family of the Promised Messiahas had transgressed and fallen far from the path of the righteousness (God forbid), it did not behove the Jamaat to accept someone from such a family as the Khalifa. Those who rejected Khilafat wrote: 

“Divine providence has deprived the entire physical progeny of the Promised Messiah of the true teachings and it has fallen far from its true spirit.”

Even though it was these same people who, whilst commenting on the family of the Promised Messiahas, had once stated: 

“Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad Sahib is present along with all other pure progeny”.

Therefore, this allegation has been made before in the history of the Jamaat and is, in effect, an attack on Khilafat. 

Once the Promised Messiahas received the revelation: 

احسب‭ ‬الناس‭ ‬ان‭ ‬يتركوا‭ ‬ان‭ ‬يقولوا‭ ‬امنا‭ ‬و‭ ‬هم‭ ‬لا‭ ‬يفتنون۔‭ ‬قالوا‭ ‬تا‭ ‬الله‭ ‬تفتوا‭ ‬تذكر‭ ‬يوسف‭  ‬حتی ‬تكون‭ ‬حرضا‭ ‬او‭ ‬تكون‭ ‬من‭ ‬الهالكين۔‭ ‬شاهت‭ ‬الوجوه‭ ‬فتول‭ ‬عنهم‭ ‬حتی ‬حين۔‭ ‬ان‭ ‬الصبرين‭ ‬يوفی ‬اجرهم‭ ‬بغير‭ ‬حساب۔

Elaborating these revelations, the Promised Messiahas wrote:

“Those who were weak lost hope of the appearance of the Promised Reformer and said ‘You will continue to talk about this Joseph till you make yourself ill, or expire.’” (Tadhkirah [English], p. 208)

Hazrat Maulana Jalaluddin Shams Sahibra – who also compiled Tadhkirah – whilst discussing this prophecy, wrote that this revelation was about the Khilafat of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. He said the discussion of the story of Prophet Josephas in the Holy Quran carried themes of calumny and false allegations, therefore this revelation foreshadowed that the hypocrites would also try to level such allegations on Khilafat. 

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