Proving the claim of the Promised Messiah’s knowledge of miraculous and profound Arabic – Part X

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Shedding light on the claim of Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas with regard to his knowledge of the Arabic language, this series of articles seeks to answer major allegations raised against the Promised Messiah’sas use of Arabic phrases, his God-given eloquence and his command over the language and the usage of sentences taken from past literature.

Muhammad Tahir Nadeem, Central Arabic Desk

The position of the Promised Messiahas, that if a few phrases or words of old literature found in someone’s work are considered as plagiarism, then not a single book will be exempted from this allegation, holds completely true because the opponents of Islam have even objected to some identical phrases of the Holy Quran and deemed them plagiarism. Moreover, due to not understanding this point, some Christians accuse the Holy Prophetsa of “plagiarising” these verses of the Holy Quran from the poems of the pre-Islamic era. Below are some examples:

Allah the Almighty states:

وَ‭ ‬عَلَي‭ ‬اللّٰهِ‭ ‬قَصۡدُ‭ ‬السَّبِيۡلِ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬مِنۡهَا‭ ‬جَآئِرٌ

“And upon Allah rests the showing of the right way and there are ways which deviate from the right course.” (Surah al-Nahl, Ch.16: V.10)

The opponents say that the above verse was “plagiarised” from the following couplet of Imru‘ al-Qais:

ومن‭ ‬الطريقة‭ ‬جائر‭ ‬و‭ ‬هدي

قصد‭ ‬السبيل‭ ‬و‭ ‬منه‭ ‬ذو‭ ‬دخل

“Among the very many ways, one way is that of oppression and the other is of guidance. There is also a way of moderation and yet another way is that of violence.” (Diwan Imru‘ al-Qais, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [2004], p. 131)

God Almighty states:

وَ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬يُبۡدِئُ‭ ‬الۡبَاطِلُ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬مَا‭ ‬يُعِيۡدُ

“And falsehood could neither originate any good, nor reproduce it.” (Surah Saba, Ch.34: V.50)

Ibn al-Abras said:

اقفر‭ ‬من‭ ‬اهله‭ ‬عبيد

فاليوم‭ ‬لا‭ ‬يبدي‭ ‬و‭ ‬لا‭ ‬يعيد

“Obaid parted from his family, so today he will not present any couplet at anyone’s request, nor will he return after today.” (Al-She‘r wa al-Shuara li Ibn Qutaybah, p. 95)

Allah the Almighty says:

اِنَّ‭ ‬عَذَابَهَا‭ ‬كَانَ‭ ‬غَرَامًا

“Surely, the punishment thereof is a lasting torment.” (Surah al-Furqan, Ch.25: V.66)

Abi Khazim said:

و‭ ‬يوم‭ ‬النسار‭ ‬و‭ ‬يوم‭ ‬الجفا

ر، كانا عذابا و كانا غراما

“There was torment and destruction in both of these two days during the Arabs’ war era.” (Diwan Bishr bin Abi Khazim al-Asadi, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Arabi, Beirut [1994], p. 135)

God Almighty states:

خَلَقَ‭ ‬الۡاِنۡسَانَ‭ ‬مِنۡ‭ ‬صَلۡصَالٍ‭ ‬كَالۡفَخَّارِ

“He created man from dry ringing clay which is like baked pottery.” (Surah al-Rahman, Ch.55: V.15)

Umayyah bin Abi as-Salt said:

كيف‭ ‬الجحود‭ ‬و‭ ‬انما‭ ‬خلق‭ ‬الفتي

من‭ ‬طين‭ ‬صلصال‭ ‬له‭ ‬فخار

“How can a stubborn denial be possible when man is created from ringing clay? For which there is also the sound of ringing.” (Diwan Umayyah bin as-Salt, Dar Sadir, Beirut [1998], p. 82)

Allah the Almighty says:

مَنۡ‭ ‬يُّحۡيِ‭ ‬الۡعِظَامَ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬هِيَ‭ ‬رَمِيۡمٌ

“Who can quicken the bones when they are decayed?” (Surah Ya Sin, Ch.36: V.79)

Zuhayr bin Abi Sulma said:

سيحيي‭ ‬العظام‭ ‬و‭ ‬هي‭ ‬رميم

“Soon he will revive the bones, even though they are rotten.” (Al-Milal wa al-Nihal, Bab as-Salis, Vol. 3, p. 88)

God Almighty states:

قُلۡ‭ ‬هُوَ‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬اَحَدٌ۔ اَللّٰهُ‭ ‬الصَّمَدُ۔‭ ‬لَمۡ‭ ‬يَلِدۡ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬لَمۡ‭ ‬يُوۡلَدۡ

“Say, ‘He is Allah, the One; Allah, the Independent and Besought of all. He begets not, nor is He begotten.” (Surah al-Ikhlas, Ch.112: V.2-4)

Qas Ibn Saidah said:

كلا‭ ‬بل‭ ‬هو‭ ‬الله‭ ‬احد

ليس‭ ‬بمولود‭ ‬ولا‭ ‬والد

“Surely, He is Allah, the One. He has not been created nor has He given birth to anyone.” (Al-Milal wa al-Nihal, Bab as-Salis, Vol. 3, p. 86)

Allah the Almighty says:

اِقۡتَرَبَتِ‭ ‬السَّاعَةُ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬انۡشَقَّ‭ ‬الۡقَمَرُ

“The Hour has drawn nigh, and the moon is rent asunder.” (Surah al-Qamar, Ch.54: V.3)

Imru‘ al-Qais said:

اقتربت‭ ‬الساعة‭ ‬و‭ ‬انشق‭ ‬القمر

عن‭ ‬غزال‭ ‬صاد‭ ‬و‭ ‬نفر

“That special hour approached and the moon rent asunder because of that deerlike beloved, whose existence has taken hold of my heart and has now run away.” (Faiz al-Qadir Sharah al-Jami al-Saghir, Vol. 2, p. 187)

God Almighty states:

اِذَا‭ ‬زُلۡزِلَتِ‭ ‬الۡاَرۡضُ‭ ‬زِلۡزَالَهَا۔ وَ‭ ‬اَخۡرَجَتِ‭ ‬الۡاَرۡضُ‭ ‬اَثۡقَالَهَا

“When the earth is shaken with her violent shaking, and the earth brings forth her burdens.” (Surah al-Zilzal, Ch.99: V.2-3)

Imru‘ al-Qais said:

اذا‭ ‬زلزلت‭ ‬الارض‭ ‬زلزالها

واخرجت‭ ‬الارض‭ ‬اثقالها

“When the earth will be shaken fully and it will bring forth out its loads.” (Faiz al-Qadir Sharah al-Jami al-Saghir, Vol. 2, p. 187)

Allah the Almighty says:

فَتَعَاطٰي‭ ‬فَعَقَرَ

“And he seized a sword and hamstrung her.” (Surah al-Qamar, Ch.54: V.30)

فَكَانُوۡا‭ ‬كَهَشِيۡمِ‭ ‬الۡمُحۡتَظِرِ

“And they became like the dry stubble, trampled upon.” (Surah al-Qamar, Ch.54: V.32)

There are some examples in Mausuah Abbas. It is stated:

مر‭ ‬يوم‭ ‬العيد‭ ‬في‭ ‬زينته

فرماني‭ ‬تعاطي‭ ‬فعقر

بسهام‭ ‬من‭ ‬لحاظ‭ ‬فاتك

فتركني‭ ‬كهشيم‭ ‬المحتظر

“The day of Eid appeared outside with all its glory and it shot me with a killer look. Hence, that day seized me and hamstrung me. In the end, it left me like a dry stubble, trampled upon.” (Mausuah Abbas, Tawhid wa al-Anbiya, Vol. 1, p. 795)

God Almighty states:

وَ‭ ‬هُمۡ‭ ‬مِّنۡ‭ ‬كُلِّ‭ ‬حَدَبٍ‭ ‬يَّنۡسِلُوۡنَ

“And they shall hasten forth from every height.” (Surah al-Anbiya, Ch.21: V.97)

لِمِثۡلِ‭ ‬هٰذَا‭ ‬فَلۡيَعۡمَلِ‭ ‬الۡعٰمِلُوۡنَ

“For the like of this, then, let the workers work.” (Surah al-Saffat, Ch.37: V.62)

The following couplets are also present in Mausuah Abbas:

اقبل‭ ‬العشاق‭ ‬من‭ ‬خلفه

كانهم‭ ‬من‭ ‬حدب‭ ‬ينسلون

وجاء‭ ‬يوم‭ ‬العيد‭ ‬في‭ ‬زينة

لمثل‭ ‬ذا‭ ‬فليعمل‭ ‬العاملون

“The admirers immediately came from behind it. They looked as if they came running fast from a high place. The day of Eid came with its pomp and show. The workers should do the same as the day reminds them to.” (Mausuah Abbas, Tawhid wa al-Anbiya, Vol. 1, p. 795)

The above are just a few examples of what the opponents of Islam think, that the said phrases or styles were well-known before the revelation of the Holy Quran and that the Holy Prophetsa “plagiarised” them from there and included them in the Holy Quran. In other words, they object to the Holy Quran of being “plagiarised” from the old literature. 

Today’s opponents follow in their footsteps and raise similar allegations against the Arabic works of the Promised Messiahas.

However, the fact is that if the argument of the Promised Messiahas mentioned at the outset is taken into account, then the inclusion of the styles and phrases of pre-Islamic poems in the Holy Quran is not at all objectionable.

Allama ibn al-Rashiq states:

و مما يعد سرقا و ليس بسرق اشتراك اللفظ المتعارف

“If prominent words [present in the work of one writer] correspond with [another], then they do not fall in the category of plagiarism.” (Al-Umdatu fi Mahasin as-Sher wa Adabihi, Bab as-Sarikat wa ma Shakilaha, Juz‘ 2, p. 292)

Then, he presents the following examples:

“Antarah says:

وخيل‭ ‬قددلفت‭ ‬لها‭ ‬بخيل

عليها‭ ‬الأسد‭ ‬تهتصر‭ ‬اهتصارا

“And I brought my horses closer to the enemy’s horses [for fighting]. I have such lions riding on those horses that completely tear (the enemies) into pieces.”

“Amr ibn Ma‘adi Yakrib says:

وخيل‭ ‬قد‭ ‬دلفت‭ ‬لها‭ ‬بخيل

تحية‭ ‬بينهم‭ ‬ضرب‭ ‬وجيع

“And I brought my horses closer to the enemy’s horses [for fighting]. They exchange the gifts of inflicting a severe blow to their [enemies] while greeting them.”

“Khansa Tarsi says:

وخيل‭ ‬قددلفت‭ ‬لها‭ ‬بخيل

فدارت‭ ‬بين‭ ‬كبشيها‭ ‬رحاها

“And I brought my horses closer to the enemy’s horses [for fighting]. Thence, the war flared up between the leaders of these two groups.”

“Another example is:

وخيل‭ ‬قددلفت‭ ‬لها‭ ‬بخيل

ترى‭ ‬فرسانها‭ ‬مثل‭ ‬الأسود

“And I brought my horses near the enemy’s horses [for fighting]. You will see the horsemen as if they are lions.”

Referring to the said examples, Allama ibn al-Rashiq says:

و‭ ‬امثال‭ ‬هذا‭ ‬كثير

“There are very many examples of this kind.” (Al-Umdatu fi Mahasin as-Sher wa Adabihi, Bab as-Sarikat wa ma Shakilaha, Juz‘ 2, p. 292)

The verses of some very famous poets correspond with each other. At times, the exact same phrases and words are used by both writers and on other occasions, the meanings of their couplets bear sharp resemblance. Below are some examples:

Imru‘ al-Qais says:

إني‭ ‬حلفت‭ ‬يمينا‭ ‬غير‭ ‬كاذبة

انك‭ ‬أقلف‭ ‬الاماجبي‭ ‬القمر

“I swore on oath and it was not false that [O Caesar of Rome!] You are an uncircumcised person, like a one who has been gathered by the moon.” (Diwan Imru‘ al-Qais, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [2004], p. 81)

Hazrat Hassanra ibn Thabit said:

إني‭ ‬حلفت‭ ‬يمينا‭ ‬غير‭ ‬كاذبة

لوكان‭ ‬للحارث‭ ‬الجفني‭ ‬أصحاب

“I swore on oath and it was not false that if Harith al-Jafni had friends and associates, [they would have surely sided with him].” (Diwan Hassan ibn Thabit, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [2004], p. 30) 

At another place, Imru‘ al-Qais said:

ويخطوعلى‭ ‬صم‭ ‬صلاب‭ ‬كأنها

حجارة‭ ‬غيل‭ ‬وارسات‭ ‬بطحلبٖ

“He [the horse] pawed on the hard rocky ground and looked as though he is a hard rock in the running water, which has been turned yellow by the moss.” (Diwan Imru‘ al-Qais, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [2004], p. 33)

Hazrat Nabigah al-Ja‘dira says:

كأن‭ ‬حواميه‭ ‬مدبرا

خضبن‭ ‬وإن‭ ‬كان‭ ‬لم‭ ‬يخضب

“Upon its return, it seems that the hooves of this [horse] have been dyed. However, they have not been coloured in reality.”

حجارة‭ ‬غيل‭ ‬برضراضة

كسين‭ ‬طلاء‭ ‬من‭ ‬الطحلب

“[As though, the hooves of this horse] are as hard as a stone submerged in shallow water on a hard ground, and these hooves are covered with moss.” (Al-She‘r wa al-Shuara li Ibn Qutaybah, p. 34)

Imru‘ al-Qais says:

كأن‭ ‬الحصى‭ ‬من‭ ‬خلفها‭ ‬وأمامها

إذا‭ ‬نجلته‭ ‬رجلها‭ ‬خذف‭ ‬أعسرا

“It is as if he is throwing stones from the front and back, when his legs hit the rocks.” (Diwan Imru‘ al-Qais, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [2004], p. 63)

Hazrat Shumakhra said:

لها‭ ‬منسم‭ ‬مثل‭ ‬المحارة‭ ‬خفة

كأنّ‭ ‬الحصي‭ ‬من‭ ‬خلفه‭ ‬خذف‭ ‬أعسرا

“His hooves are like the hooves of a camel. It looks as if he is throwing pebbles with great force from the rear.” (Al-She‘r wa al-Shuara li Ibn Qutaybah, p. 34)

Imru‘ al-Qais said:

وقوفا‭ ‬بها‭ ‬صحبي‭ ‬علي‭ ‬مطيهم

يقولون‭ ‬لا‭ ‬تهلك‭ ‬أسى‭ ‬وتجمل

“At the house of the beloved, I stopped the rides of my friends for my own sake, while the friends were saying, ‘Do not hurt yourself with the sorrow [caused by parting from the beloved] and bear it patiently.’.” (Diwan Imru‘ al-Qais, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [2004], p. 110)

Al-Farazdaqsaid:

وقوفا‭ ‬بها‭ ‬صحبي‭ ‬على‭ ‬وإنما

عرفتُ‭ ‬رسوم‭ ‬الدارَ‭ ‬بعد‭ ‬التوهم

“I stopped the rides of my friends before the beloved’s house and I definitely identified the marks of beloved’s house after deep thought.”

يقولون‭ ‬لا‭ ‬تهلك‭ ‬أسى‭ ‬ولقد‭ ‬بدت

لهم‭ ‬عبرات‭ ‬المستهام‭ ‬المتيم

“The friends say, ‘Do not hurt yourself with the sorrow [caused by parting from the beloved] and bear it patiently. However, the tears of a person, who is madly and insanely in love, came out before them [the friends].” (Diwan Al-Farazdaq, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut [1987], p. 524)

In his book, Al-Umdatu fi Mahasin al-She‘r wa Adabihi, Allama ibn al-Rashiq writes:

من التضمين ما يحيل الشاعر فيه احالة، ويشير به اشاره

“One kind of tazmin [introducing verses of someone else in one’s own work] is to point to a couplet or the subject of a number of couplets and draw attention towards it.”

He further states:

فهذا‭ ‬النوع‭ ‬ابعد‭ ‬التضمينات‭ ‬كلها‭ ‬و‭ ‬اقلها‭ ‬و‭ ‬جودا‭ ‬و‭ ‬ذالك‭ ‬نحو‭ ‬قول‭ ‬ابي‭ ‬تمام‭:‬

لعمر‭ ‬و‭ ‬مع‭ ‬الرمضاء‭ ‬والنار‭ ‬تلتظى

ارق‭ ‬واحمى‭ ‬منك‭ ‬في‭ ‬ساعة‭ ‬الكرب

اراد‭ ‬البيت‭ ‬المضروب‭ ‬به‭ ‬مثل‭:‬

المستجير‭ ‬بعمر‭ ‬وعند‭ ‬كربته

كالمستجير‭ ‬من‭ ‬الرمضاء‭ ‬بالنار

“The second kind of tazmin is rare and its example is present in the following two couplets. Abu Tammam says:

“‘I swear by Amr that the heat and flame of this burning fire becomes more harsh and fiery in the time of hardships.

“‘The [above couplet] points towards the subject of the second couplet:

“‘The one who seeks refuge from Amr in times of trouble is like the one who seeks refuge from the flame of fire.’” (Al-Umdatu fi Mahasin al-She‘r wa Adabihi, Bab atTazmin wa al-Ijazah, Juz’ 2, p. 88)

Allama Abu Hilal al-Askari states:

ربما‭ ‬اخذ‭ ‬الشاعر‭ ‬القول‭ ‬المشهور‭ ‬و‭ ‬لم‭ ‬يبال‭ ‬كما‭ ‬فعل‭ ‬النابغة‭ ‬بانه‭ ‬اخذ‭ ‬قول‭ ‬وهب‭ ‬بن‭ ‬الحارث‭ ‬بن‭ ‬زهرة‭:‬

تبدو‭ ‬كواكبه‭ ‬والشمس‭ ‬طالعة۔۔۔

و‭ ‬قال‭ ‬النابغة‭:‬

تبدو‭ ‬كواكبه‭ ‬والشمس‭ ‬طالعة

لاالنورُ‭ ‬نور‭ ‬ولا‭ ‬الاظلام‭ ‬اظلام

 “Sometimes poets include famous quotes [from each other words] in their writings without any hesitation. As Al-Nabigha excerpted from the following saying of Wahab bin al-Harith bin Zahrah:

“‘His stars are always [trying] to become apparent even though the sun is shining […]’

“His stars are always [trying] to become apparent even though the sun is shining. So in this case, neither the light is real, nor is darkness really darkness.” (Kitab al-Sinaatain, Bab as-Sadis p. 197)

Allama ibn al-Rashiq states:

الشعر جادة، وربما وقع الحافر علي موضع الحافر

“Couplets should be considered like a path. Just as the footsteps of a horse while walking along a path sometimes fall on the exact same tracks of another horse, so too are the words of one poet which are repeated over and over again by other poets.” (Al-Umdatu fi Mahasin al-She‘r wa Adabihi, Bab al-Sarikat wa ma Shakilaha, Juz‘ 2, p. 292)

The style of writing mentioned above is called tazmin and it is also found in the works of the Promised Messiahas.

Sharing of identical words, tazmin and congruency are often found in the works of poets and no sane person can raise any objection of plagiarism in this regard. Hence, Allama ibn al-Rashiq states:

وَسُئِلَ أَبُو عَمْرِو بْنُ العَلاءِ: أَرَأَيْتَ الْشاعِرَينَ يَتَّفِقَانِ فِي المَعْنَى وَيتَوَارْدَانِ فِي اللَّفْظِ لَمْ يَلْقَ واحِدٌ مِنْهُمَا صاحِبَهُ وَلَمْ يَسْمَعْ شِعْرَهُ؟ قَالَ: تِلْكَ عُقولُ رِجالٍ توَافَتْ عَلَى أَلْسِنَتِها، وَسُئِلَ أَبُو الطَّيِّبِ عَنْ مِثْلِ ذَلِكَ فَقَالَ: الشِّعْرُ جادَّةٌ، وَرُبَّمَا وَقَعَ اَلْحافِرُ عَلَى مَوْضِعِ الْحافِرِ

“Abu Amr ibn al-Ala was asked: ‘What is your view regarding two poets who use the same words and expressions, but have never met nor heard each other’s poetry?’ Abu Amr replied: ‘These are the minds of men who had the same thoughts.’ Abu al-Tayyib was asked the same question to which he replied: ‘Poetry is like a long road, in which a person’s steps can coincide with the steps of another person.’” (Al-Umdatu fi Mahasin al-She‘r wa Adabihi, Bab al-Sarikat wa ma Shakilaha, Juz‘ 2, p. 289)

Moreover, Hazrat Anasra bin Malik narrates that Hazrat Umarra said: 

وَافَقْتُ رَبِّي فِي ثَلاَثٍ، فَقُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ لَوِ اتَّخَذْنَا مِنْ مَقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى فَنَزَلَتْ ‏{‏وَاتَّخِذُوا مِنْ مَقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى‏}‏ وَآيَةُ الْحِجَابِ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ، لَوْ أَمَرْتَ نِسَاءَكَ أَنْ يَحْتَجِبْنَ، فَإِنَّهُ يُكَلِّمُهُنَّ الْبَرُّ وَالْفَاجِرُ‏.‏ فَنَزَلَتْ آيَةُ الْحِجَابِ، وَاجْتَمَعَ نِسَاءُ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي الْغَيْرَةِ عَلَيْهِ فَقُلْتُ لَهُنَّ عَسَى رَبُّهُ إِنْ طَلَّقَكُنَّ أَنْ يُبَدِّلَهُ أَزْوَاجًا خَيْرًا مِنْكُنَّ‏.‏ فَنَزَلَتْ هَذِهِ الآيَةُ‏.‏

“My Lord agreed with me in three matters: (1) I submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I wish that we take the station of Abraham as a place of Prayer’, and then this commandment of Allah the Almighty was revealed: وَ‭ ‬اتَّخِذُوۡا‭ ‬مِنۡ‭ ‬مَّقَامِ‭ ‬اِبۡرٰهٖمَ‭ ‬مُصَلًّي [‘Take ye the station of Abraham as a place of Prayer’ (2:126)]. (2) I said to the Holy Prophetsa, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I wish you order your wives to observe purdah [cover themselves], because all kinds of people, good and bad, speak to them’, and then the verse regarding purdah was revealed. (3) When the wives of the Holy Prophetsa made a united front against him owing to their natural sense of honour, I said to them, ‘It may be that, if the Holy Prophetsa divorce you, his Lord will give him instead wives better than you.’ Then, this very verse was revealed.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Salat)

If one reads the Arabic words of this hadith, then in suggesting about taking the station of Abraham as a place of Prayer, Hazrat Umarra has used almost exactly identical words which were later revealed in the Holy Quran in the form of the verse.

Now the question is, did (God forbid) the Holy Prophetsa take good suggestions from his Companionsra and later present them as Divine revelation? Or the position of the Promised Messiahas is true that the words of a person can be included in a Divine revelation? And if this is possible in Divine revelation, then it is certainly possible in the literary works of human beings.

Hence, it is very unfortunate that Muslim opponents do not shy away from raising such objections against the Promised Messiahas that directly target the Holy Quran and the Holy Prophetsa as well. The ones who raise such objections also deprive themselves from the rational arguments of the Promised Messiahas to respond to similar objections of non-Muslims against the Holy Prophetsa and Islam. Consequently, due to the said objections of the opponents against the Promised Messiahas, God Almighty took the blessing of Islam’s defence from them and handed it over to His Promised Messiahas.

(Research conducted by Muhammad Tahir Nadeem Sahib, Arabic Desk UK. Translated by Al Hakam)

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