Is the English revelation “God is coming by his army” grammatically incorrect?

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Last Updated on 18th June 2021

Jalees Ahmad, Al Hakam 

Opponents of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat raise allegations against certain revelations of Hazrat Ahmadas. Among the many illogical allegations, one objection is that some words in the English revelations are used incorrectly. For example, they present the revelation: “God is coming by his army” 

With regard to this revelation, which the Promised Messiahas received from God, Muslim opponents raise the objection and mock Hazrat Ahmadas, by suggesting that the word “by” has been used incorrectly. 

Alluding to this revelation, the Promised Messaihas stated that God revealed this to him “concerning some opponents who had, out of bitter enmity, desecrated the Holy Quran without any reason, and out of irremediable personal enmity, had made some irrelevant and stupid criticisms against the firm faith of Islam.” (Barahin-e-Ahmadiyya, Volume 4, p. 365)

Here, it should be pointed out this revelation, which the Promised Messiahas received, was revealed in defence of the Holy Quran. It is unfortunate that such people would mock and ridicule a revelation that was revealed in defence of the book of Allah. 

The Holy Quran and history both testify that prophets of all ages are mocked by the people they are sent to. Allah the Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

يٰحَسۡرَةً عَلَي الۡعِبَادِ ۚؑ مَا يَاۡتِيۡهِمۡ مِّنۡ رَّسُوۡلٍ اِلَّا كَانُوۡا بِهٖ يَسۡتَهۡزِءُوۡنَ

“[Alas] for My servants! There comes not a Messenger to them but they mock at him.” (Surah Ya Sin, Ch.36: V.31)

Under this verse, in the Five-Volume Commentary of the Holy Quran, it is written:

“While the verse means that every Prophet of God was rejected, mocked and jeered at by his people, it has a special reference to the Promised Messiah, signifying that in his time, all Prophets will be rejected i.e. the very idea of Divine revelation will be doubted and denied.” (The Five-Volume Commentary, Vol. 4, p. 2,659)

The history of Islam is replete with the people of Arabia’s mockery and laughter at the Holy Prophetsa

We find a hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari that narrates how once, when the Holy Prophetsa fell ill and became sick, he could not offer the Tahajud prayer for two or three nights. Upon this, the wife of Abu Lahab, came and said:

يَا مُحَمَّدُ إِنِّي لأَرْجُو أَنْ يَكُونَ شَيْطَانُكَ قَدْ تَرَكَكَ، لَمْ أَرَهُ قَرِبَكَ مُنْذُ لَيْلَتَيْنِ أَوْ ثَلاَثًا‏

“O Muhammad! I think that your Satan has forsaken you, for I have not seen him with you for two or three nights!” 

Here, the wife of Abu Lahab was mocking and ridiculing the Holy Prophetsa and referred to Allah the Almighty as “your Satan”.

Upon this, Allah the Almighty revealed: 

وَ الضُّحٰي – وَ الَّيۡلِ اِذَا سَجٰي – مَا وَدَّعَكَ رَبُّكَ وَ مَا قَلٰي

“By the [growing] brightness of the Forenoon, And by the night when its darkness spreads out, Thy Lord has not forsaken thee, nor is He displeased with thee.” (Surah al-Duha, Ch.93: V. 2-4)

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Tafsir, Hadith 4950)

Through this hadith, we see that the opponents of Islam left no opportunity to mock and make fun of the Holy Prophetsa, even when he was ill. 

If only such people would look beyond their ignorance and instead of using their time to raise allegations and objections, they utilised their time and did research. 

Now, coming back to the English revelation that Hazrat Ahmadas received, and which many opponents laugh at and mock, it should be remembered that to challenge, taunt or ridicule a prophet or a revelation he receives is to challenge the Being Who revealed it to him.  

First and foremost, we must understand that God is not bound by time as He is everlasting. The answer to the objection the opponents raise is quite simple. Such an allegation only arises in a person’s mind when one doesn’t bother to ponder over the English language or the history of the language and its variations throughout time. 

The English Dialect Dictionary states that the word “by” has been used in the English language to also mean ‘with’. The dictionary gives examples that the word “by” means and can be used as “together with”, “in company with”. If that wasn’t enough, a sentence is provided in the dictionary, ‘I will go if you go by me’. (The English Dialect Dictionary, Vol. 1. A-C, London: Published by Henry Frowde, Amen Corner, E.C.,  Publisher to the English Dialect Society, 1898, p. 470) 

These are examples and variations of the usage and meaning of the word “by” given in the dictionary. 

This dictionary, as mentioned in the preface, is “the complete vocabulary of all English dialect words which are still in use or known to have been in use at any time during the last two hundred years in England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.”

Thus, for anyone who truly understands the English language, no room remains for mockery at the revelation which Hazrat Ahmadas received, and this goes for other revelations our opponents deride. 

This, very clearly and emphatically, proves that the objection raised by our opponents is baseless. To say that the English revelation is wrong is simply irrational. Just because one is unable to understand a certain thing does not warrant for it to be declared incorrect. 

The Promised Messiahas has explained that indeed, without a shadow of a doubt, true knowledge of languages is known only to Allah, for He is Al-Aleem. One only needs to look at the Arabic language and the various expressions that are commonly used in Arab places like Syria, Egypt, Mecca, Medina; if the expressions that are used today are studied, then they seemingly go against all the grammar rules and principles of the Arabic language and man-made grammar. 

So, as God is not bound by time or place, one cannot hinder or limit God’s revelation or say that some of its sentences should be in accordance with the past or present usage of language. 

Answering the allegation raised by the Jamaat’s opponents, the Promised Messiahas has very beautifully explained:

“As these revelations are in a foreign tongue and divine revelations are swift, there may possibly be a slight variation in the delivery of some words. It has also been observed that sometimes, God is not bound by human idiom or follows an archaic idiom and sometimes does not even follow the rules of grammar. There are several such instances in the Holy Quran, for instance, the verseإِنْ‭ ‬هَٰذَانِ‭ ‬لَسَاحِرَانِ  [‘Certainly these two are magicians’ (Surah Ta Ha, 20:64)], in accordance with man-made grammar, would read as‭ ‬إن‭ ‬هٰذين.” (Haqiqatul-Wahi [English], p. 384)

Hazrat Ahmadas also stated:

“This is the prophecy that the One God, who has no partner, made in English despite the fact that I am not an English-speaking person and am totally unaware of this language. But it was the will of God to publish His promises about the future in all the renowned languages of this country.” (Haqiqatul-Wahi [English], p. 384)

Such people who are swift in raising allegations and objections are the same like-minded people who eventually challenge the verses of the Holy Quran.

Thus, just because man is unable to comprehend something and can’t compare it with a man-made rule or what is frequently used, does not mean we regard something as totally incorrect. 

So, when opponents of the Jamaat object or challenge the revelations of the Promised Messiahas, it is vital that all information is gathered, research is conducted properly, and then, they will find that there is simply nothing worthy of objection.

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