Ali Fatty, Student, Jamia Ahmadiyya International Ghana
History bears witness to the fact that frequently, it is the game of the opponent of prophets that whenever they lack theological arguments in disproving and rejecting the truthfulness of a divinely appointed prophet, out of frustration, they devise other dishonest schemes by raising unfounded allegations, just like the Meccans alleged that the Holy Prophetsa had a Christian tutor who would teach him things, to which he would add his own twist, and present them as his own teachings. (The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets, Vol. 1, p. 251)
Recently, there was a debate on YouTube between a Sunni Muslim cleric and an African Ahmadi Muslim. During the debate, the Sunni cleric raised an unfounded and baseless allegation that Ghanian Ahmadis don’t understand Urdu and have been deceived with regard to the writings of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas. (https://youtu.be/_-dtVORT_Oo?t=14358)
However, nothing could be further from the truth. The Sunni cleric’s assertion is plain wrong. There are scores of Africans and Ghanaian Ahmadi Muslims in particular who read the books of the Promised Messiahas in the original Urdu language, as will be evident in this article.
Besides, there is no standard that says that for one to understand the claims and teachings of a prophet, they have to know or be a native speaker of the language the prophet speaks.
For example, today there are millions of Muslims across the world who, despite not being Arabs, still read the Holy Quran, while others only benefit from its translation. However, they all still understand the fundamental teachings of the Holy Quran and the claims of the Holy Prophetsa; even the Sunni cleric himself is a Pakistani not an Arab.
Another example is Abu Jahl, who, despite being an Arab and having a deep understanding of Arabic, was deprived of understanding and embracing the message of Islam, while Hazrat Bilalra an African slave was able to understand the claims of the Holy Prophetsa and accept him as a true prophet of God, despite not being an Arab himself.
Moreover, it is the continuous practice of the anti-Ahmadi clerics to dishonestly spread false, misinformation and disinformation to the general public about the beliefs of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, even though the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophetsa categorically admonish the Muslims against lying.
In Surah an-Nahl, chapter 16, verse 106, Allah the Almighty states:
إِنَّمَا يَفْتَرِي الْكَذِبَ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِآيَاتِ اللّهِ وَأُوْلـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَاذِبُونَ
“It is only those who do not believe in the Signs of Allah, that forge falsehood, and they it is who are the liars.”
The Holy Prophet Muhammadsa said:
كَفَى بِالْمَرْءِ كَذِبًا أَنْ يُحَدّثَ بِكُلّ مَا سَمِعَ
“A reason sufficient to determine an individual’s dishonesty is that he begins forwarding the narrations he hears without investigation.” (Sahih Muslim, Muqaddamatul-Mu’allif, Bab an-nahyi ‘anil-hadithi bi kulli ma sami‘a, Hadīth 7)
In another place, the Holy Prophetsa said:
الا وقول الزور… الا وقول الزور
“O Ye! Pay heed! O Ye! Pay heed! After them, the greatest of sins is to tell a lie.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab ash-shahadat, Bab ma qila fi shahadati z-zuri, Hadith 2654; Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-adab, Bab ‘uquqi l-walidaini min al-kaba’iri, Hadith 5976)
Africans’ quest to understand the writings of the Promised Messiahas in Urdu
The concept of the coming of a divinely promised reformer in the Latter Days known as the Imam Mahdi is a household belief in Africa, even well before the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat reached the far corners of the continent.
It was around the early 20th century that the message of the Promised Messiah’sas claim as the long-awaited Imam Mahdi first reached the shores of Africa through The Review of Religions. When the African people heard the message of Islam Ahmadiyya, the facts and evidence proving the truthfulness of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas corroborated with the signs that the people learned from the religious scriptures. So, they genuinely wasted no time in accepting the message of the Promised Messiahas. (www.reviewofreligions.org/38121/islam-ahmadiyyat-in-africa-fulfillment-of-a-grand-prophecy/#ftoc-heading-1)
This is yet another example of the fulfilment of the promise Allah the Almighty made to the Promised Messiahas when he said to him.
مَيں تيري تبليغ کو زمين کے کناروں تک پہنچاؤں گا۔
“I shall carry your message to the ends of the earth.” (Tadhkirah [English], p. 407)
After accepting the message of Ahmadiyyat, in the 1940s, many young men from different African countries, in their quest to know more about the truthfulness of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas and to partake of the treasures he brought in the form of books; would embark on a difficult month’s journey, some walking to Pakistan to study the books of the Promised Messiahas in the original language at Jamia Ahmadiyya Rabwah.
These people would later return to the continent after the completion of their studies to teach the great knowledge they gained from the works of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas to their respective Jamaat; Africa by extension. These souls of blessed memories contributed immensely to the successful spread and establishment of the message of Ahmadiyya in the entire African continent.
Milestone achievements of Africans studying Urdu works of the Promised Messiahas
Perhaps the cleric is ignorant of the fact that those days are gone when Africans and Ghanaians in particular used to travel to other countries such as Pakistan just to learn the Urdu language, study firsthand the books of the Promised Messiahas and become ambassadors of the Imam of the Age in spreading his real teachings to the corners of the continent.
Today, the unprecedented progress and expansion of the Jamaat all over Africa have further necessitated the need for the Jamaat to establish a missionary school in Africa where students, under the supervision of scholarly Urdu lecturers, undergo a rigorous seven-year course learning the books of the Promised Messiahas in the original Urdu language.
During the blessed era of the Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, Allah the Almighty blessed the Jamaat with the establishment of Jamia Ahmadiyya International in Africa which is open for students from all African countries. (For more information, please see About – Jamia Ahmadiyya International Ghana: www.jamiaghana.org/about/)
Some recent testimonies of Africans on the books of the Promised Messiahas
Besides, when I heard the allegation of the Sunni cleric, I could not help but prove him wrong in his comments by interviewing the young African imams about their experiences in reading the books of the Promised Messiahas in the Urdu language. These young missionaries are many across Africa, but for briefness’s sake, I have chosen to mention only a few of them.
Ojo Shamsudeen-Arekeeyn Ola from Nigeria said:
“I’ll advise anyone who knows Urdu to read Haqiqatul Wahi, he’ll enjoy it, as well as realise the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas. In fact, there is no book of the Promised Messiahas one would read and not find his truthfulness. However, Haqiqatul Wahi is one of those books that can convince a true seeker of the truth about the truthfulness of the Promised Messiahas , and his blessed Jamaat.”
Hafiz Uthman Muhammad, Ghana, expresses:
“It is indeed a blessing for me to have read the books of the Promised Messiahas in their original text in Urdu. Indeed, translating into other languages cannot hold the same value. I can say today that I’m fully equipped to withstand all attacks and onslaughts of non-Ahmadi Muslims through the reading of the books of the Promised Messiahas.”
Nurullah Lamina Temitope, Nigeria, says:
“I feel blessed and honoured that I can read and understand the writings of a prophet of Allah, i.e., Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas in the Urdu language. The literary prowess of the Promised Messiahas is extraordinary. The importance of the knowledge derived from the writings of the Promised Messiahas cannot be overemphasised but what is most captivating is the spiritual upliftment that I experience having read his writings. Moreover, my conviction about his truthfulness drastically increases.”
Hussein Ruzindana, Rwanda, comments:
“There is this notion that we Africans don’t understand the writings of the Promised Messiahas since they are in Urdu. However, I have been able to read the works of the Promised Messiahas in Urdu, so I will say that this is nothing but an immature, baseless allegation. I personally can say that after reading the book of the Promised Messiahas Masih Hindustan Mein, I not only gained knowledge but also got new facts and proofs regarding the reality of the death of Jesusas. Being a Christian before and having come from a Christian family, this book has really helped me a lot to really understand the life and death of Jesusas.”
Ismaila Bah of The Gambia noted:
“The allegation raised that because the majority of Africans do not speak or understand Urdu, they don’t understand the books of the Promised Messiahas has no basis. Allah the Almighty has blessed me with understanding the Urdu language. I do read the books of the Promised Messiahas in Urdu, where I get the original message presented by the Promised Messiahas, and that keeps strengthening my faith in his claims.”
Essah Tahir says:
“Tapping from the main source can never be like tapping from the secondary source. Reading the books of the Promised Messiahas directly from Urdu provides one with almost the exact message the Promised Messiahas intended to pass on. You get to know from reading the Ruhani Khazain that the Promised Messiahas championed the cause of Islam. I say this because I read the books of the Promised Messiahas in Urdu myself and I completely understand them.”