Last Updated on 25th September 2020
The Promised Messiah and Mahdi, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, openly challenged Arab and non-Arab theologians and writers of his age to compete with him in a writing contest of insightful Arabic commentary of selected verses of the Holy Quran or Arabic composition before a general gathering and to let the public decide on whose side the succour of Allah the Almighty is with.
The founder of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat announced well in advance through divine revelation that Allah would certainly bless him with victory over his opponents because he was granted the miracle of extraordinary Arabic writing. Anyone with even a little common sense and rationality will understand that there is no way that the Promised Messiahas could have given such open challenges of expressive Arabic writing and urged learned scholars of his time to compete with him sitting face to face in public gatherings, when, as per the view of opponents, someone else was writing Arabic books for him and God did not give him such a miracle.
The opponents of the Promised Messiahas raised similar objections about his Arabic works in the past as well and some well-known scholars called him an imposter. There are many recorded incidents in the life of the Promised Messiahas when he invited them and reiterated on many occasions to compete with him in the said contest of Arabic composition. However, none of them accepted his challenge.
For example, Maulvi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi published a poster on 2 Shaban 1314 AH, i.e. January 1897 (mentioned by the Promised Messiahas in his book Hujjatullah) in which he levelled many allegations against the Promised Messiahas and wrote:
“The [Arabic] books that he [the founder of Ahmadiyya Jamaat] brings out are published by him aft er getting them written by people well-versed in Arabic language. I know for sure that he has no ability in Arabic at all. If he really possesses this quality, he should hold a debate with me in Arabic before a general gathering of scholars. The Arabic of both contestants will be recorded and presented to the scholars. If he wins, it will be accepted that the said Arabic works are his own writings. This debate will take place face-to-face. If he is not able to compete with me in this debate, then the curse of Allah shall be on he who lies.” (Hujjatullah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 12, p. 161)
The Promised Messiahas immediately accepted his challenge and stated:
“Abdul Haq Ghaznavi has published a poster on 2 Shaban 1314 AH to wash away the ink of the curse that has settled on his face. I have repeatedly written the answer to this poster in this appendix [of the book, Anjam-e-Atham], that I have declared this as a sign of my Messiahship. However, the only thing that I want from the defeated is not to confess my proficiency in Arabic, but to believe [in me]. Thus, he should publish a sworn statement with the testimony of 10 Maulvis that if I defeat him in the contest of eloquent Arabic [debate], he will immediately take my Bai‘at in the same gathering and admit that I am the Promised Messiah. But if he does not issue an announcement with the said statement, then the curse of Allah shall be upon him in this world and in the Hereafter.” (Anjam-e-Atham [Appendix], Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 11, p. 317)
Maulvi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi did not honour his own challenge and remained silent. The Promised Messiahas once again reminded him about it and said:
“In response [to Abdul Haq’s invitation], it was written in the appendix of Anjam-e-Atham that I am ready for the competition. [It was clarified that] he should be aware that I have repeatedly said that these Arabic books were not compiled so that people consider me an Arabic scholar and acknowledge me as a maulvi, but in fact, it has been frequently mentioned in these books that they are a sign of God and granted to me as a miracle. I have been given this [miracle] as another proof for my claim. When and where did I write that the objective of my Arabic books was that if someone is defeated, he should consider me an Arabic scholar? Thus, [he was asked to] affirm that if he, despite his huge claims of Arabic knowledge and superiority, was clearly defeated by a person like me, about whom he asserted in the said poster that that person had no expertise in Arabic knowledge, he would accept it as a sign and believe with full certainty that it was a miracle from God the Almighty, and at the same time, he would repent and perform my Bai‘at. However, around two months have passed [since I accepted his challenge] and thus far, no response has come from Abdul Haq. It is as if he has died. Now, the just-minded people should reflect on how these people are working like the Antichrist to cover up the truth and the amount of devilish lies they are spreading to destroy innocent people.” (Hujjatullah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 12, pp. 161-162)
After the above reiteration and loss of precious time, the Promised Messiahas offered Abdul Haq Ghaznavi a fresh sign and wrote Hujjatullah [God’s Final Argument], a book in Arabic, which he began on 17 March 1897 and completed on 26 May 1897. He challenged his opponents, particularly Maulavi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi to compose a book at least comparable in size and quality to his Arabic book, using prose and poem. He asked them to write the like of it in the same time period of three or four months.
The Promised Messiahas gave his opponents complete freedom to take help from anyone in producing that book against him. He permitted them to invite any one scholar who could swear that their composed book was better or even equivalent to his in quality, and if that person was not seized by divine punishment within 41 days because of lying under oath, the Promised Messiahas would burn all of his books and repent at their hands.
If the Promised Messiahas had not been granted the miracle of Arabic from Allah the Almighty, he would not have shown willingness to debate with Maulvi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi in the assembly of scholars. Moreover, he would not have invited him to write another book in response to the Arabic book, Hujjatullah.
Maulvi Abdul Haq Ghaznavi died on 16 May 1917, but from 1897 to the passing of the Promised Messiahas on 26 May 1908, he did not take up his own challenge to hold a debate with the Promised Messiahas in Arabic. Moreover, he did not produce any impressive book in Arabic in rejoinder to the book, Hujjatullah or any other book of the Promised Messiahas.
The Promised Messiahas repeatedly invited others to hold a contest of Arabic writing with him and witness the sign of God the Almighty. We have already presented the details of the incident that took place between the Promised Messiahas and Pir Mehr Ali Shah Sahib of Golra Sharif in a previous article of Responding to Allegations series, under the heading, All prophets are rejected and questioned on their sanity – Part II.
The Promised Messiahas challenged Golarvi Sahib to compete with him and compose a commentary of the selected verses of the Holy Quran on 20 July 1900 through an announcement. After that, the founder of Ahmadiyya Jamaat lived for about eight years, but Pir Mehr Ali Shah Sahib shied away from writing such a commentary.
Thereafter, the Promised Messiahas published an announcement on 22 July 1900, in which he mentioned the names of 86 prominent religious leaders and scholars of India and invited them to come forward and take up his challenge. However, neither did they muster the courage to accept the Promised Messiah’sas challenge, nor did any other Arab or non-Arab Muslim scholar accepted his challenge.
Thus, it is clear as day that the Promised Messiahas was certainly the author of the extraordinary Arabic works under discussion and Allah the Almighty continuously helped him in writing those books and blessed him with the miracle of expressive Arabic composition.