Are there any lexical or structural errors in the Arabic works of the Promised Messiah?

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Last Updated on 8th January 2021

The Promised Messiahas states:

فحاصل الكلام، إنك لست أهل هٰذا المقام۔ وما علّمك اللّٰه العلم والأدب من لدنه موهبة۔ وما اقتنيتَ المعارف مكتسبة۔ ومع ذالك لمّا حللتَ لاهور۔ إِدّعيتَ كأنك تكتب التفسير في الفور۔ تعاميت أوما رأيتَ عند غلوائك۔ وفعلت ما فعلت وسدرتَ في خيلائك۔ و خدعت الناس بأغلوطاتك۔ ولوّنتهم بألوان خزعبيلاتك۔ و خدعتَ كل الخدع حتي أجاح القوم جهلاتك۔

“To put it briefly, you [Pir Meher Ali Shah] are not worthy of this status and position. Allah has neither granted you knowledge and literariness as an endowment from Himself, nor have you acquired any wisdom by effort. In spite of all that, when you came to Lahore, you deceivingly claimed that you would instantaneously write a commentary [of the Holy Quran]. As you crossed your boundaries, either you blinded yourself by design or could not see at all due to your insolence. You did what you could, and you were extremely vain. You kept deceiving people with your false statements and influenced them with all kinds of falsehoods. As a matter of fact, you were deceptive to such an extent that your unwise words ruined the people.”  (Ijaz-ul-Masih, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 18, pp. 32-33)

Referring to the above mentioned excerpt, opponents of the Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, object that the structure of the phrase سدرتَ‭ ‬فی ‬خيلائك is flawed because the word سدر has been used inappropriately and the correct phrase should have been السادل‭ ‬ثوب‭ ‬خيلائه. They further suggest that Hazrat Ahmadas has used the word جهلات whereas this word is not found in Arabic and the correct word is جهالات. 

As is their customary practice, the opponents have raised a baseless allegation against an Arabic writing of the Promised Messiahas without doing much research and studying Arabic literature.

According to the Arabic dictionary, Lisan Al-Arab, the word السادر under the root سدر means‭ ‬الذی ‬لا‭ ‬يهتم‭ ‬لشیء‭ ‬ولا‭ ‬يبالی ‬ما‭ ‬صنع, i.e. a person who neither gives importance to anything nor cares about his actions. Likewise, it is written in another Arabic dictionary, Taj-ul-‘Arus,‭ ‬انه‭ ‬سادر‭ ‬فی ‬الغیّ ‬تائه, i.e. the structure ‭ ‬سادر‭ ‬في‬ الغیّ is used to refer to a person who is extremely astray. We have only presented a couple from many examples, but they are enough to substantiate that the phrase سدرتَ‭ ‬فی ‬خيلائك [you (Pir Meher Ali Shah) are extremely vain] is structurally accurate and correct.

As far as the objection regarding the word جهلات is concerned, the Arabic literature proves the allegation null and void. Below are some examples which clearly show many Arabic scholars have used the word جهلات in their writings:

1. Regarding the words of Iblis انۡظِرۡنِیْٓ ‬اِلٰی ‬يَوۡمِ‭ ‬يُبۡعَثُوۡنَ ‬[grant me respite till the day when they will be raised up], Hazrat Imam Abu Jafar Muhammad bin Jarir Al-Tabri (310 AH) states:

وهذه‭ ‬ايضاً‭ ‬جهلة‭ ‬اخري‭ ‬من‭ ‬جهلاته‭ ‬الخبيثة

“Among the very many malignant acts of ignorance, this [statement of Satan] is another act of ignorance.” (Jami‘ al-Bayan al-Mar‘uf bi Tafsor al-Tabari, Juz‘ 8, p. 157)

2. In one of his Arabic couplets, Imam Ibn Asakir states:

اني‭ ‬اذًا‭ ‬لاخوالجهالة‭ ‬والذي

طمت‭ ‬علي‭ ‬احسانه‭ ‬جهلاته

“Surely, then I will be considered a stubborn man whose acts of ignorance prevail over his graces.” (Tarikh Dimashq li Ibn Asakir, Juz‘ 13, p. 107)

3. Allama Ibn Mu‘tazz said:

تجاهل‭ ‬عبداللّٰه‭ ‬و‭ ‬العلم‭ ‬ظنه

علي‭ ‬عالم‭ ‬بالمرء‭ ‬ذي‭ ‬الجهلات

“Abdullah was being disingenuous, but his supposed knowledge is ignorance in the eyes of the scholars.” (Tabaqat al-Shu‘ara li Ibn Mu‘tazz, p. 221)

4. Shihabuddin Abu Abdullah Yaqut al-Hamwi says:

العلم‭ ‬للرحمٰن‭ ‬جلّ‭ ‬جلاله

و‭ ‬سواه‭ ‬في‭ ‬جهلاته‭ ‬يتغمغم

“Knowledge is for the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful God, and all the rest are just the ambiguous mumblings of an ignorant person.” (Mu‘jam al-Udaba li Yaqut al-Hamwi, Juz‘ 6, p. 2689)

5. In his commentary of the Holy Quran, Allama Muhammad Jamaluddin Qasimi (1332 AH) states:

)وَ مَا كَانَ النَّاسُ اِلَّاۤ اُمَّةً وَّاحِدَةً)أي حنفاء، متفقين علي ملة واحدة، و هي فطرة الاسلام و التوحيد التي فطر عليها كل احد۔

 (فَاخۡتَلَفُوۡا )باتباع الهوي وعبادة الاصنام، فالشرك و فروعه جهلات ابتدعها الغواة صرفا للناس عن وجهة التوحيد و لذلك بعث اللّٰه الرسل بآياته و حججه البالغة

“(And mankind were but one community), i.e. they are inclined towards tawhid [Unity of God] and all are going to agree on one Ummah. And this is the nature of Islam and tawhid, based on which everyone is created. (Then they differed among themselves) by following their inner desires and worshiping idols. Hence, shirk [associating partners with Allah] and its off-shoots are those acts of ignorance which were introduced by transgressors to avert mankind from the right path of tawhid. It is for this reason that Allah sent messengers with His signs and irrefutable arguments.” (Tafsir al-Qasimi al-Musamma Mahasin at-Ta‘wil li Muhammad Jamaluddin al-Qasimi, Juz‘ 6, p. 15)

6. A tabi‘ [a person who has witnessed the Holy Prophet’ssa Companionsra], Imran bin Hattan, who is also part of the narrators of Sahih al-Bukhari, recited some couplets when people asked him to rejoin the fight against Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf after he was released from his captivity. Two of those Arabic couplets are as follows:

أ‭ ‬أقاتل‭ ‬الحجاج‭ ‬عن‭ ‬سلطانه

بيدٍ‭ ‬تقرّ‭ ‬بأنها‭ ‬مولاته؟

اني‭ ‬اذًا‭ ‬لاخو‭ ‬الدّناءة،‭ ‬والذي

عفّت‭ ‬علي‭ ‬عرفانه‭ ‬جهلاته

“Shall I fight Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf for his empire with a hand that acknowledges that I am among his followers? Hence, if I still do that, I would certainly be an ignoble person whose ignorant acts abstain him from performing wise deeds.”  (Jami‘ al-Bayan al-Maruf bi Tafsor al-Tabari, Juz‘ 8, p. 157)

The above examples are sufficient proof that the word جهلات is used in the Arabic language and the Promised Messiahas flawlessly used this word in his Arabic works by utilising his God-given divine wisdom. 

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The opponents raise another ill-founded objection regarding the following Arabic phrase of the Promised Messiahas from the same book, Ijaz-ul-Masih:

وَالسّلام‭ ‬والصّلٰوة‭ ‬علی ‬رسولٍ‭ ‬جاء‭ ‬في‭ ‬زمن‭ ‬كان‭ ‬كدستٍ‭ ‬غاب‭ ‬صدره۔‭ ‬أو‭ ‬كليل‭ ‬أفل‭ ‬بدره۔

“Peace and blessings be upon the Messengersa who came at a time which was like a throne devoid of a king or like a night whose full moon had plummeted.” (Ijaz-ul-Masih, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 18, p. 4)

According to the opponents, the Promised Messiahas has needlessly used adaat al-tashbih [particle of simile] ك before ليل in the phrase‭ ‬أو‭ ‬كليل‭ ‬أفل‭ ‬بدره because in their view, it is wrong to use harf al-ataf [particle of conjunction] أو and particle of simile together and the correct phrase should have been أو‭ ‬ليل‭ ‬أفل‭ ‬بدره.

The opponents should bear in mind that according to the rules of Arabic language, it is fully justified to use adaat al-tashbih [particle of simile] after harf al-ataf [particle of conjunction] or simply use connective particles independently. 

For example, Allah the Almighty says:

وَ الَّذِيۡنَ كَفَرُوۡۤا اَعۡمَالُهُمۡ كَسَرَابٍۭ بِقِيۡعَةٍ يَّحۡسَبُهُ الظَّمۡاٰنُ مَآءً ؕ حَتّٰۤي اِذَا جَآءَهٗ لَمۡ يَجِدۡهُ شَيۡئًا وَّ وَجَدَ اللّٰهَ عِنۡدَهٗ فَوَفّٰهُ حِسَابَهٗ ؕ وَ اللّٰهُ سَرِيۡعُ الۡحِسَابِ۔ اَوۡ كَظُلُمٰتٍ فِيۡ بَحۡرٍ لُّجِّيٍّ يَّغۡشٰهُ مَوۡجٌ مِّنۡ فَوۡقِهٖ مَوۡجٌ مِّنۡ فَوۡقِهٖ سَحَابٌ ؕ ظُلُمٰتٌۢ بَعۡضُهَا فَوۡقَ بَعۡضٍ ؕ اِذَاۤ اَخۡرَجَ يَدَهٗ لَمۡ يَكَدۡ يَرٰهَا ؕ وَ مَنۡ لَّمۡ يَجۡعَلِ اللّٰهُ لَهٗ نُوۡرًا فَمَا لَهٗ مِنۡ نُّوۡرٍ۔

“And as to those who disbelieve, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water until, when he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing. And he finds Allah near him, Who then fully pays him his account; and Allah is swift at reckoning. Or their deeds are like thick darkness in a vast and deep sea, which a wave covers, over which there is another wave, above which are clouds: layers of darkness, one upon another. When he holds out his hand, he can hardly see it: and he whom Allah gives no light — for him there is no light at all” (Surah al-Nur, Ch.24: V. 40-41). 

In these verses, the particle of simileك has been used after the connective particle أو in the phrase ‭ ‬اَوۡ‭ ‬كَظُلُمٰتٍ.

At another place in the Holy Quran, God Almighty states:

مَثَلُهُمۡ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي اسۡتَوۡقَدَ نَارًا ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَضَآءَتۡ مَا حَوۡلَهٗ ذَهَبَ اللّٰهُ بِنُوۡرِهِمۡ وَ تَرَكَهُمۡ فِيۡ ظُلُمٰتٍ لَّا يُبۡصِرُوۡنَ۔ صُمٌّۢ بُكۡمٌ عُمۡيٌ فَهُمۡ لَا يَرۡجِعُوۡنَ۔ اَوۡ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ فِيۡهِ ظُلُمٰتٌ وَّ رَعۡدٌ وَّ بَرۡقٌ ۚ يَجۡعَلُوۡنَ اَصَابِعَهُمۡ فِيۡۤ اٰذَانِهِمۡ مِّنَ الصَّوَاعِقِ حَذَرَ الۡمَوۡتِ ؕ وَ اللّٰهُ مُحِيۡطٌۢ بِالۡكٰفِرِيۡنَ۔

“Their case is like the case of a person who kindled a fire, and when it lighted up all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in thick darkness; they see not. They are deaf, dumb and blind; so they will not return. Or it is like a heavy rain from the clouds, wherein is thick darkness and thunder and lightning; they put their fingers into their ears because of the thunderclaps for fear of death, and Allah encompasses the disbelievers” (Surah al-Baqarah, Ch.2: V. 18-20).

 In these verses, the particle of simile ك has been used after the connective particle أو in the phrase ‭ ‬اَوۡ‭ ‬كَصَيِّبٍ.

It is written in the first book of Sahih Muslim that the Holy Prophetsa said:

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ إِنِّي لأَطْمَعُ أَنْ تَكُونُوا ثُلُثَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ۔‏ فَحَمِدْنَا اللَّهَ وَكَبَّرْنَا۔ ثُمَّ قَالَ: وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ إِنِّي لأَطْمَعُ أَنْ تَكُونُوا شَطْرَ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ، إِنَّ مَثَلَكُمْ فِي الأُمَمِ كَمَثَلِ الشَّعْرَةِ الْبَيْضَاءِ فِي جِلْدِ الثَّوْرِ الأَسْوَدِ أَوْ كَالرَّقْمَةِ فِي ذِرَاعِ الْحِمَارِ

“I swear by Him [Allah] in Whose hands is my life, I wish that you [Muslims] constitute one third of the inhabitants of Jannah. Then, we [companions] exalted Allah and Glorified [Him]. The Holy Prophetsa further said: ‘I swear by Him in Whose hands is my life, I hope that you constitute half of the inhabitants of Jannah. Your comparison with respect to the people of other nations is like that of a white hair on the skin of a black ox or like a mark on the foreleg of a donkey.’” (Sahih Muslim, Kitab al-Iman).

 In this hadith, the particle of simileك has been used after the connective particle أو in the phrase‭ ‬أَوْ‭ ‬كَالرَّقْمَةِ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬ذِرَاعِ‭ ‬الْحِمَارِ.

Abu Muhammad al-Qasim ibn Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Uthman al-Hariri states:

فواللّٰه ما كان بأسرع من تصافح الاجفان۔ حتي خرّ القوم للاذقان۔ فلمّا رأيتهم كاعجاز نخل خاوية أو كصرعي بنت خابية، علمت انّها لاحدي الكبر

“I swear by Allah that people fell prone upon their faces in the twinkling of an eye. Thereafter, when I saw them like the trunks of fallen palm-trees, or like those passed out by the daughter of the wine barrel [excessive drinking], I knew for certain that it was an unparalleled mischief.” (Maqamat al-HaririAl-Maqamah al- Wasittiyyah, p. 234)

In this excerpt, the particle of simileك has been used after the connective particle أو in the phrase ‭ ‬أو‭ ‬كصرعي‭ ‬بنت‭ ‬خابية.

The opponents should at least study the Holy Quran before pointing fingers at the Promised Messiah’sas knowledge of the Arabic language. After that, if the enemies of Prophet Ahmadas do not find similar examples, which are objectionable in their view, in the words of Allah the Almighty, they should look into the ahadith of the Holy Prophetsa. Then, if they are unable to find similar phrases as used by the Mahdias of Muhammadsa, the vast Arabic literature is full of such examples. 

Hence, the above explanation makes it very clear that the foes of the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, should focus more on their own Arabic knowledge because the Promised Messiahas was granted the miracle of Arabic by Allah the Almighty and they have been proven wrong in every single objection.

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